​TrendWatch, the American Hospital Association’s report on trends in healthcare, presented the results of the 2015 AHA Annual Survey Information Technology Supplement in their July issue, concluding that:

Hospitals are offering individuals more electronic access to their medical information than ever before. Patients also have a growing ability to interact with their providers and to perform routine tasks online. As more hospitals are able to offer these services, individuals will have more insight into their medical data and the ability to interact with care providers at times and in ways that are convenient for the patient.

According to the report, between 2013 and 2015, the percentage of hospitals that allowed: 

  • Individuals to view medical records rose from 43 to 92
  • Patients to download information from their medical records rose from 30 to 84
  • A referral summary to be sent to a third party rose from 13 to 70
  • Online bill payment rose from 56 to 74
  • Patients to schedule appointments online rose from 31 to 45
  • Patients to refill prescriptions online rose from 30 to 44

But since electronic medical records (EMRs) contain only a small fraction of a patient’s information, I expect stats like these to be merely the bellwethers of what’s coming up next: community-level consolidation and sharing, which will satisfy the need for clinical integration of EMRs at not just the system level, but the regional level, too.

Read the full report here.


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