Nearly 70% of cancer patients view their medical records online, ONC finds

Among patients offered online access to their health records, about 70 percent who have recently been diagnosed with cancer viewed their record at least once in the past year, according to ONC data.

For its January 2020 data brief, ONC combined 2017 and 2018 data from the National Cancer Institute's Health Information National Trends Survey to assess the use of health IT by cancer patients.

Five report insights:

1. In 2017 and 2018, patients who had previously been diagnosed with cancer were offered online access to their medical records by a health provider or insurer at higher rate than individuals with no previous cancer diagnosis.

2. Patients recently diagnosed with cancer viewed their online medical records more frequently than cancer survivors and patients who have never had cancer.

3. Twenty-one percent of cancer patients viewed their online medical records six or more times per year in 2017 and 2018.

4. Among individuals who did not view their online medical records in the past year, more than half of patients with a previous cancer diagnosis said it is because they have no need to view the information.

5. More than 80 percent of patients who have previously been diagnosed with cancer and did not access their online health records in 2017 and 2018 said it is because they prefer to speak with their provider directly.

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