A recent survey by Surescripts — a health information network provider — found that 29% of Americans, close to 70 million individuals, still fax or physically transport their test results, X-rays or health records from one doctor’s office to another — and it’s because of the lack of electronic communication between doctors and patients.
In such cases, ultimately patients have to connect the medical records dots themselves, making it challenging for Americans to manage their health, according to the survey. While millions of people across the United States are open to using technology for a variety of healthcare needs, that survey found that the health system is not yet living up to their expectations.
And Regina Holliday, patient rights advocate and founding artist at the Walking Gallery, has experienced this first hand when her 39-year-old husband died of metastatic kidney cancer in 2009, which she recently spoke about in a keynote at the annual Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc., user conference. Holliday believes that the combination of a late diagnosis, unresponsive and impersonal healthcare providers, and the cumbersome system of printed health records contributed to her husband’s death.
Holliday said in her keynote: “There are computers all over the hospital and you can’t show us the medical record?”
“Dangerous voids in health information sharing can easily be solved through the use of digital communications and technology. This survey proves patients take notice and are ready for a change,” Tom Skelton, CEO at Surescripts, said in a press release. “As an industry, we need to come together to connect the nation’s healthcare system — to enhance the patient experience while improving quality and lowering the cost of care.”