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Physicians Report Increased Electronic Sharing of Health Information with Patients

October 5, 2015
by Heather Landi
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The proportion of physicians electronically sharing health information with patients grew by double-digits between 2013 and 2014, but only four in 10 physicians electronically shared patient health information with other providers, according to a data brief from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

The ONC data brief was based on surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics in 2014 and 2013.

The survey results indicated that more than half of physicians (57 percent) electronically shared health information with patients in 2014, which is up 24 percent from 2013, and 47 percent gave patients access to view, download or transmit electronic health information, which increased 42 percent from 2013.

In addition, there was a 30 percent increase in the number of physicians exchanging secure messages with patients, up to 52 percent of physicians in 2014.

Electronic sharing of health information between physicians and other providers, however, increased only slightly from 2013 to 2014, according to the data brief.

In 2014, one in four physicians, or 42 percent, reported electronically sharing patient health information with other providers, which is up only 7 percent from 2013.

Over one-third of physicians electronically shared health information with other ambulatory care providers and more than one-quarter electronically shared with hospitals.

The proportion of physicians electronically sharing health information with long-term care, behavioral health and home health providers was much lower, at 11 percent.

Thirty-six percent of physicians reported sharing at least one out of five types of clinical information with another provider in 2014. About one-third of physicians shared laboratory results electronically, and similar proportions reported sharing the other types of data examined in the survey: imaging results, medication, medication allergy, or patient problem lists.

The rates of electronic sharing were higher with affiliated organizations versus unaffiliated hospitals or outside organizations. Out of the 30 percent of physicians who reported sharing all five types of clinical information, only one in 10 physicians reported sharing with unaffiliated hospitals or outside organizations.

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