GAO: 3 reasons patients don't like EHRs, portals

The U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates that although 88 percent of patients whose healthcare providers participate in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program are offered access to their online health records, less that one third of patients choose to use this access.

A July 18 post on the GAO's WatchBlog details the major reasons patients don't use portals, based on interviews with various patients.

Here are three reasons patients don't use patient portals.

1. Patients expressed frustration over having to access multiple portals to check their records for each provider they visit, rather than having only one portal for all of their records.

Patients said it took too much time to set up these portals, understand each portal's interface and manage the portals' multiple passwords.

2. Patients said the portals often reported incomplete and inconsistent information across providers.

3. Patients reported the portals were unclear as to whether they could electronically download, transmit or aggregate their data.

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