How Easily Can Your Patients Obtain Their EHRs?

July 18, 2017

It seems clinicians aren't the only ones grousing about electronic health records (EHRs). Patients have their own issues with them, a new report by the US Department of Health and Human Services reveals.

Researchers from the Department's Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology interviewed 17 consumers about their experiences in fulfilling record requests. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, practices must honor requests for record access within 30 days. This often does not happen, the researchers found.

Consumers had to jump through quite a few hoops to get their records, the study showed. For example, a woman who had a young daughter with epilepsy resorted to using a spreadsheet to keep track of the different Web portals, passwords, and record request processes for each office she and her daughter went to. For one pediatrician visit, she had to collect records from five specialists, each of whom used a different process for record requests.

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