What are the benefits of having direct access to my health records?

Having direct access to your health records via an electronic health record (EHR) enables you to keep better track of your care. In some cases, it helps to answer your questions immediately rather than waiting hours or days for a returned phone call. This access may also allow you to communicate directly and securely with your healthcare provider. Today, some doctors who maintain EHRs offer patients full access to their online records, although not all do. This is expected to change as healthcare IT continues to evolve.
Studies have shown that when healthcare providers make patients’ records available to them, it benefits the patient and the provider. A year-long study tracked three major health systems, encompassing 105 doctors and 19,000 patients, and found that when people had complete access to their records they felt more in control and satisfied with their care. The program reached three conclusions. Patients involved in the study: 
  • reported improved understanding of their care
  • were better able to remember and follow their care plans
  • were more compliant about following medication instructions
Also in the study, patients accessed visit notes frequently and a majority reported clinically relevant benefits and minimal concerns. Virtually all patients wanted the practice to continue.  

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.