Providers’ inability to share data hurts patient satisfaction


Consumers are able to gather personal information in a variety of different subject areas, but the inability to do so with their medical information represents a growing source of frustration.

A recent survey by Surescripts underscores the dissatisfaction that consumers feel because there’s no central source to get their records, or to share them easily.

The 2016 Connected Care and the Patient Experience survey found that patients are particularly dissatisfied with the lack of a central location for their health records, as well as the difficulty in accessing and sharing those records. The survey by Surescripts, a nationwide health information network, found patients are anxious to see more digitized care through the use of telehealth and other technologies.

“Despite major medical and technological advancements in our country, and the fact that patients are more active consumers of care, healthcare is still inefficient, complex and unsatisfying for them,” said Tom Skelton, Chief Executive Officer of Surescripts.

Here are some notable patient insights from the survey results.

Most patients (94 percent) feel their medical information and records should be stored electronically in a single location. This lack of central storage of electronic records forces patients to take matters into their own hands. Along with the desire for efficiency, patients feel that lives are at stake when their doctors don’t have access to their complete medication history. Most patients (93 percent) say they believe doctors would save time if their medication history was stored in one location, and 90 percent feel that this would make their doctor less likely to prescribe the wrong medication.

• Patients are increasingly dissatisfied with the amount of time and effort they’re spending on recounting medical information. They are typically spending an average of eight minutes telling their doctor their medical history (up from six minutes in 2015) and eight minutes filling out paperwork at a typical doctor visit (up from six minutes in 2015).

• Patients prefer and expect new and innovative ways to receive care and get prescriptions. More than half (52 percent) of patients expect doctors to start offering remote visits, and more than one third (36 percent) believe most doctor appointments will be remote in the next 10 years. Patients also expect to use telehealth to receive their prescriptions from their doctor (61 percent) and would trust a prescription from a remote doctor (64 percent).