Only 10% of patients view their medical records online, study finds

About 10 percent of discharged hospital patients who have online access to their health records actually view, download and transmit their health information, according to a recent study published in Health Affairs.

For the study, a team of researchers analyzed data from 2,410 U.S. hospitals between 2014 and 2016. The hospitals included in the study provided 95 percent of discharged patients access to view their health records online. The team of researchers are affiliated with Oregon Health and Science University-Portland State University, University of California San Francisco and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

Four study insights:

1. Results of the analysis showed that just about one in 10 patients granted access to their electronic health information actually viewed their data.

2. Patients treated at large teaching hospitals were more likely to view their health records.

3. Patients treated at institutions other than a for-profit hospital were less likely to be able to access their health information online but were more likely to take the opportunity when it was offered.

4. Individuals without access to a computer or internet at home were less likely to be given access to their electronic health information when discharged from the hospital.

Study authors concluded that the results of the analysis indicate that policy initiatives aimed at engaging patients in the electronic use of their health information have failed to engage a larger proportion of patients affected by healthcare disparities. 

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