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Survey Uncovers Key Gaps in Provider Access to Patient Data


A Surescripts survey reveals the need for more interoperable access to patient data in three major areas.



Major gaps exist in physicians’ access to patient data, according to a new survey.

First, according to the Surescripts report, “Physician Perspectives on Access to Patient Data,” high-quality medication adherence information is important but elusive. Second, most physicians believe in the value of prescription price transparency to aid in making medication decisions. Finally, physicians view a lack of patient history data as an impediment to care coordination.




Surescripts commissioned a survey to 300 qualifying primary care physicians between October 5 and October 17, 2017. To qualify for the survey, physicians had to have been in practice for at least five years, spend at least 50% of their time providing direct patient care for at least 100 patients a year, and use an EHR.

“In 2001, just one in 10 doctors was using an EHR. In 2015, nearly nine out of 10 were,” says Mike Pritts, chief product officer of Surescripts. “Yet, despite the widespread utilization of EHRs today, our study found that half of physicians believe that their access to patient data could be much better.”

The survey findings show that electronic access to patient medication adherence, clinical history, and prescription cost information are high priorities among physicians:

  • Eighty-three percent of physicians believe in the importance of access to medication adherence information, but only 17% are able to easily retrieve it electronically. “Further, when medication adherence information is accessible, more than half of physicians don’t trust it because they have to rely on patients or their caretakers who can easily omit or misreport crucial information,” says Pritts.
  • More than half (56%) of physicians think prescription price transparency is a priority, but only 11% can easily retrieve out-of-pocket medication cost information. Even more, 74% of physicians think it’s important to consider a patient’s medical benefit information before prescribing, and 59% want to be able to compare the cost of similar medications during the prescribing process. 
  • Eighty-eight percent of physicians prioritize having patient history information, but only 30% report the ability to easily access it. Thirty-three percent of respondents said that they can easily determine the other care providers their patient has seen, and 30% have a secure, electronic means to communicate with those providers.

“The findings support that a truly interoperable, nationwide network that delivers actionable patient intelligence, can help healthcare professionals make the best possible care decisions and ultimately improve quality, reduce costs, and increase patient safety,” according to Pritts.


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