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NORWALK, CT – Most Americans don’t use online patient portals, but that’s not because they aren’t interested, according to a survey finding low awareness of online medical records.
The missing link is information and instruction from medical providers on how to obtain access, according to an annual survey on the usage of electronic health records commissioned by Xerox.
The Harris Poll survey was conducted online in September among 2,017 U.S. adults. A majority, 64%, reported that they do not currently use online patient portals. Yet, more than half of those who don’t use portals, 57%, said they would be much more interested and proactive in their personal healthcare if they had online access to their medical records.
Among those who do not use patient portals, 35% did not know a portal was available and 31% said their physician had never spoken to them about portals. Among those who reported the access, 59% said use of patient portals increased their interest and proactivity in their personal healthcare.
“With providers facing regulatory changes, mounting costs, and patients who increasingly seek access to more information, our survey points to an opportunity to address issues by simply opening dialogue with patients about patient portals,” said Tamara St. Claire, chief innovation officer, commercial healthcare for Xerox. “Educating patients will empower them to participate more fully in their own care while helping providers demonstrate that electronic health records are being used in a meaningful way.”
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services allows providers to earn Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2 federal incentives if they demonstrate that 5% of patients are using secure portals to view, download and transmit their health information.
The survey reported separate results from two groups, Millennials, born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, and Baby Boomers, defined as being born from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s, to determine whether their interest would differ in using patient portals.
The survey found that:
As for Baby Boomers, the survey found that: