Patients believe they have better things to do with their time than taking an average of 16 minutes filling out paperwork for a visit to a doctor’s office and then providing their physician with much the same information during the same medical exam, says a new survey of 1,000 consumers from healthcare networking company Surescripts.
Patients also want centralized access to their electronic health records and better digital tools from healthcare organizations to manage their medical affairs online. For example, \the survey finds that 58% of patients have tried to compile their own complete medical history in advance of a doctor’s visit. Nearly all patients (94%) feel their medical information and records should be stored electronically in a single location, making that scramble to put together health records unnecessary.
Longer wait times and time spent on paperwork is frustrating patients, according to the Surescripts survey. Patients typically spend an average of 8 minutes telling their doctor their medical history (up from 6 minutes in 2015) and 8 minutes filling out paperwork at a typical doctor visit (up from 6 minutes in 2015). Four out of 5 patients believe they should only have to complete this paperwork the first time they visit a provider.
“These repeat scenarios often stem from a lack of patient data access and information exchange between providers,” says the Surescripts survey report. “Patients overwhelmingly want their medical information electronically stored in a central location and easily accessed and shared.”
Along with more access to electronic health records, patients also want more digital healthcare tools from doctors, hospitals and other healthcare organizations. Access to more digital office, or telehealth, visits with doctors was the top priority. More than half (52%) of consumers taking the survey expect doctors to start offering remote (telehealth) visits, and more than one-third (36%) believe most doctor appointments will be digital in the next 10 years. 61% of patients also expect to use telehealth to receive their prescriptions from their doctor and 64% would trust a prescription from a doctor following a digital office visit.
Other survey findings include:
- 40% of patients say they are less likely to visit a doctor that can’t issue electronic prescriptions.
- 70% of consumers say receiving electronic prescriptions from a doctor after a digital office visit is much faster than obtaining prescriptons in person.
“Our healthcare system is still inefficient, complex and unsatisfying for patients,” says Surescripts CEO Tom Skelton. “It’s clear that American healthcare consumers expect a better consumer experience through effective and efficient access to their data, more convenient care and new ways to interact with their doctors.”