Patients want interoperability, and here's how they want it: 6 key findings

While the majority of patients want their providers to share data and are comfortable with platforms like health information exchanges, less than half report their providers are able to directly share records, according to a recent survey from EHR comparison platform Software Advice.

The survey sought to determine not only how providers currently share medical records, but also how patients want their providers to share medical records.

Here are six key findings from the survey.

1. Currently, 39 percent of patients said their provider directly sends medical records to other providers. The second most common method for sharing medical records was having the patient deliver them in person (25 percent).

2. However, more patients want their medical records directly exchanged between providers (46 percent) and fewer prefer in-person delivery (21 percent).

3. Just 11 percent of patients said they send their record to other providers online, 9 percent send them by fax and 7 percent send them by mail.

4. As health information exchanges become more established as a means to exchange data, patients are increasingly becoming more comfortable with them. According to the survey, 73 percent of patients said they feel "very" or "moderately comfortable" with HIEs.

5. However, that means 27 percent of patients are "minimally" or "not at all" comfortable with HIEs. When asked to expand on their low comfort level with HIEs, approximately half of patients indicated concerns regarding potential privacy violations, and 44 percent voiced concerns about data security breaches.

6. Even though patients voiced general support for HIEs, the vast majority (73 percent) said they don't know if their state currently operates an HIE. "Many patients are comfortable with their data being made accessible through a HIE, but don't realize they might already be able to participate in one," according to the survey.

More articles on interoperability:

Will we ever achieve interoperability? Not until there are incentives to do so
ONC seeks comments on 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory
WEDI's Devin Jopp: Health automation is forward thinking but backwards moving

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