Healthcare News & Insights

Survey: Patients would change doctors to get online EHR access

We’ve reported before on how more patients want the chance to access their own health records online. And now a new survey shows people may even change providers because of it. 

laptop-typingSo far, doctors and hospital leaders have been reluctant to offer patients their own online EHR access. Just 31% of physicians believe patients should have access to those records, according to a recent Accenture survey.

It’s not that doctors don’t approve of patients viewing their own information. Just 4% of physicians said patients should have no access to records, while 65% advocated for limited access.

Primarily, doctors say there should be limits on the types of data patients can edit on their own. Most agree that patients and providers can both benefit if patients have the opportunity to update data such as:

  • demographic information
  • family medical history
  • medications
  • allergies
  • new symptoms, and
  • self-measured metrics, like blood pressure and glucose levels.

Patients want more access

On the other hand, patients want greater access to their own records, and they aren’t afraid to take action in order to get it, according to Accenture.

The majority of patients in the U.S. (84%) said they should be given full access to their EHRs. And close to half (41%) said they would change doctors in order to be able to access their own electronic records.

That doesn’t mean that patients need to be given full control over their information in order to keep them satisfied. It’s likely many would be happy if they’re given the chance to view their charts online and add their own basic data. In fact, most (57%) have already done some self-tracking of their health information, including:

  • health history
  • physical activity, and
  • blood pressure, weight, and other health indicators.

However, just 27% of patients said they’re currently given partial access to their health records, meaning the majority of providers have fallen behind patient demands.

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