Patients Want Providers Who Offer Health IT Capabilities

Physicians who do not work to improve electronic health information sharing could lose patients to more technology-savvy providers, according a survey commissioned by Surescripts, Health IT Interoperability reports.

The survey, conducted by Kelton Global, polled more than 1,000 U.S. adults during the first week of May (Irving, Health IT Interoperability, 9/28).


According to the survey, 55% of respondents said their medical history is incomplete or missing altogether when they visit their physician, despite the use of electronic health records.

Among other things, respondents reported that providers often lacked information about their:

  • Allergies;
  • Existing medical conditions; and
  • Prescriptions.

Paul Uhrig, chief administrative and legal officer and chief privacy officer at Surescripts, said, "The challenge is the lack of interoperability" (Reed, Washington Business Journal, 9/28).

The survey concluded that technologically advanced providers have an advantage because:

  • 57% of respondents said they want a doctor who stores medical records electronically;
  • 57% want a doctor who enables them to complete paperwork online before an appointment;
  • 54% want to receive test results online; and
  • 54% want to schedule appointments online (Health IT Interoperability, 9/28).

Further, the survey found that:

  • 46% of respondents said they are more comfortable asking their provider questions via email or text, rather than just by phone; and
  • 43% said they would contact their provider more often if they could do so via text and email.

According to the survey, 70% of respondents said that doctors who use computers or tablets instead of paper during visits are organized and efficient. The majority of patients also said they were comforted, relieved and confident when their provider made administration tasks -- such as appointment scheduling -- digital.

Surescripts CEO Tom Skelton in a statement said, "Dangerous voids in health information sharing can easily be solved through the use of digital communications and technology" (Pai, MobiHealthNews, 9/28).

Source: iHealthBeat, Tuesday, September 29, 2015