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Medical Record Access Growing Consumer Issue

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Medical Record Access Growing Consumer Issue

Consumers are increasingly demanding electronic access to their medical records, according to a new survey released by the Markle Foundation.

“Americans understand that quality of care could improve and costs decrease when their health information is available over the Internet to them and those who care for them. And they are clearly ready to do their part to improve our health care system,” said Zoe Baird, president of the
Markle Foundation.

“It is encouraging to see that so many Americans recognize the opportunity to improve their health care – and their own health – by accessing and using their health information,” said Carol Diamond, M.D., managing director of the Markle Foundation Health Program. “People not only
want to see their medical records, they want to use the information to communicate with their doctors and be more involved in managing their care.”

According to the survey:

  • 97 percent think it’s important for their doctors to be able to access all of their medical records in order to provide the best care
  • 96 percent think it’s important for individuals to be able to access all of their own medical records to manage their own health
  • Three-quarters of Americans are willing to share their personal information to help public officials look for disease outbreaks and research ways to improve the quality of health care if they have safeguards to protect their identity
  • 91 percent say it’s important to review what their doctors write in their chart
  • 88 percent say online records would be important in reducing the number of unnecessary or repeated tests and procedures
  • 82 percent want to review test results online
  • 84 percent would like to check for errors in their medical record
  • 83 percent of parents would be interested in using a network to track their child’s health, such as tracking dates for immunizations
  • 68 percent say having their information available online will give them more control over their own health care

“It is difficult for a consumer to manage her personal health information since it is scattered among various organizations such as insurance companies, pharmacies, hospitals, etc.,” Lansky said. “Several projects are currently under way to deploy personal health records, which are designed to help individuals manage their electronic personal health information. But because our health care system is so fragmented, and your health information is typically held by many unconnected entities, these electronic applications today struggle to provide a convenient way for consumers to access all of their data.”

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