Significant portion of consumers can't access electronic health data


Despite the recent announcement of a $10 million initiative to give consumers direct access to their clinical records, 53 percent of consumers say they can't access all of their health data from a computer.

This is according to an October/November 2015 HealthMine survey of 502 US consumers.

With higher deductibles and rising healthcare costs, Americans rolling into their 2016 health plans will assume more responsibility for both the cost and control of their healthcare. 

A total of 74 percent say easy electronic access to health data would improve their knowledge of their health and improve communication with their physicians.

As of 2013, 78 percent of office-based physicians were using an electronic health records/ electronic medical records (EHR/EMR) system. Yet electronic medical records are far from delivering on their promise for American consumers. According to HealthMine's survey, 60 percent of people say they are unsure, or do not have all of their health data stored in EMRs.

Digital access to health data remains a struggle for many Americans; 30 percent of people say they have had trouble accessing their health data when they needed it. Furthermore, 39 percent of consumers have not attempted to access their clinical health data from a mobile device.

Previous research shows that 65 percent of Americans who don't have electronic access to their health information say it's important to have it. In fact, 80 percent of Americans who have access to their health information in electronic health records actually use it. Digital access can facilitate keeping track of medical history, test results, medicines and dosages. Additionally, as most consumers today have multiple healthcare providers, electronic records can help better coordinate care.

Bryce Williams, chief executive officer and president of HealthMine said: "We should be long beyond the days where one doctor holds the chart and we don't get to see it—but we're not. Sitting in the driver's seat of health requires transparency of health data.

“Consumers must be able to see the road, the potholes, the landmarks. Having access to complete health information is essential to managing health and healthcare dollars—and every consumer should have it."

HealthMine, Bryce Williams, US