Survey: 50 percent of EHR-using docs unsatisfied with patient data access

By Dave Muoio
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A recent survey of 300 primary care physicians who use EHRs found that half of the respondents wanted better access to patient data.

The survey, which was commissioned by electronic prescribing and health information company SureScripts and administered online by ORC International during October of last year, also investigated physicians’ opinions on the availability of medication adherence and drug pricing information.

“Addressing physicians’ information needs and challenges is critical in an increasingly value-driven industry,” Dana Benini, vice president of Healthcare Practice at ORC International, said in a statement. “The Surescripts survey is an important inside look at physicians’ real-world information access and interoperability challenges and the opportunities to solve them.”

Among the respondents, 33 percent and 17 percent said that they were very satisfied and extremely satisfied, respectively, with their access to patient data through EHRs. The remaining 50 percent, on the other hand, indicated that this information could be made more available through their system.

Although 88 percent of the respondents said that access to data on a patient’s history is a priority, only 30 percent felt that they had easy access to it. Care coordination appears to be hampered as a result, as 33 percent of respondents said that they are easily able to determine which other providers a patient has seen through their EHRs.

Eighty-three percent of the survey’s respondents said that they believe access to medication adherence is a high priority, but only 17 percent said they have the means to easily retrieve that data through their system. Further, 56 percent said that they don’t trust whatever information on adherence they do have access to. Information on the out-of-pocket pricing of patients’ medications was cited as another priority by 56 percent of the respondents, according to the survey is easily and electronically available to just 11 percent of EHR-using doctors.

“Our interoperable network plays a critical role in giving healthcare providers access to actionable patient intelligence within their EHR,” Tom Skelton, CEO of Surescripts, said in a press release accompanying the study data. “Research like the physician survey helps us better understand what information they need the most so that we can focus our work accordingly.”