The price of paper: 7 things to know about patient frustration

If evaluating two comparable physicians, more than half of patients (57 percent) would select the physician who offered the ability to fill paperwork out online prior to the in-person visit, according to a Surescripts survey.

Here are seven points from the survey.

1. More than half of patients (55 percent) report their medical history is missing or incomplete when they visit their physician.

2. Forty-percent of patients report they have difficulty accessing their own medical records.

3. More than half of Americans become just as frustrated when filling out paperwork as they would be when buying a new car.

4. Americans would rather interact with customer service in industries other than their health insurance provider including their:

•    Bank: 34 percent
•    Cell phone provider: 27 percent
•    Credit card company: 22 percent

5. The average physician visit is 15 minutes. Of that time, patients spend five minutes filling out paperwork and six minutes verbally sharing their health history.

6. Patients take into account the amount of time paperwork takes; 49 percent have gone to an appointment earlier than scheduled to handle this issue.

7. Many patients would feel more comfortable with a physician if digital communication was an option. If communication via email or text was an option:

•    51 percent of patients would reach out to their physician
•    46 percent of patients would feel more comfortable asking questions
•    43 percent would feel less rushed when asking questions

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