Only 15% of patients at MU Stage 2 hospitals view, download their information

While hospitals that have achieved stage 2 of meaningful use are required to meet a certain threshold of patient engagement, only 15 percent of patients at such hospitals interact with their health information.

Patient engagement is a much-touted benefit of EHRs, usually implemented through patient portals or apps. However, critics have said portals do not make the information understandable to patients, and the benefits are still unclear, according to a February 2015 study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Hospitals that have been meaningful users since 2011 have the highest average rates, at 18 percent. However, the amoung of time it has been available does not seem to have a strong effect, as hospitals that attested in November 2014 had the highest rates of patients downloading, viewing or transmitting their electronic health information at least once, at 17 percent, according to the ONC.

Patient engagement in healthcare is lagging across the board in healthcare. Although approximately 40 percent of physicians' systems have the capability for a patient portal, only half reported using the technology. Approximately 30 percent reported using secure messaging to communicate with their patients, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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