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As electronic medical records continually find their place in news coverage, a new article from EHR Intelligence is reflecting how health care consumers are accessing their medical records at a growing rate. These findings also show that the healthcare industry’s goal f

A recent study by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health reported that nearly four in 10 surveyed individuals  who were surveyed were offered accesses to their electronic health records in 2014. This increase is substantially higher than  from 2013 where only 28 percent of survey respondents reported being offered electronic access to their health records.

Here’s an interesting video on EHR and security

One important point to note, half of the individuals who reported being offered access to their records actually checked them, and 81 percent of those individuals considered the information they accessed to be helpful and informative.

Despite the increase in the  individual access to electronic health information, challenges remain in the  gaps in information exchange. The ONC reports that between 2012 and 2014, total reported information gaps dropped from 39 to 36 percent, which the ONC states is not a statistically significant difference. Experiencing a gap in information exchange meant a patient had to bring his or her test results from one provider to another, had to recall his or her own health information because it was not on record, having to repeat a test that had already been administered, or had to wait for test results for longer than he or she believed reasonable.

According to the ONC,  “this growth in patient-accessed electronic health information may be a result of various policies and initiatives fostering health information exchange and interoperability. For example, in 2014 about half of primary care providers and hospitals had their own view, download, and transmit (VDT) capabilities. This is notably higher than in 2013, prior to the start of Stage 2 Meaningful Use, which had specific provisions regarding the sharing of electronic files with patients.”

EHR’s when safe and protective of users information, can be very helpful to hospital administration and patients alike.

To learn more about the increasing number of patients opting for electronic medical records, visit this article by EHR Intelligence