Survey finds Americans want quick access to health information, but nearly half can’t get it when they need it
ROCKVILLE, MD, June 28, 2022 – The vast majority of Americans (92%) say it is important to have quick, easy access to their medical records, but nearly half report trouble getting them from a patient portal (45%) or a provider’s office (42%) when they need them, according to a new survey from health tech pioneer DrFirst. The survey of 1,000 consumers explored experiences with storing and accessing medical records, both for individuals and between family members.
“Having a way to access health information through a portal is not the same as having that access when an urgent medical need arises for yourself or a loved one,” said Colin Banas, MD, MHA, chief medical officer for DrFirst. “To speed care in an emergency, a healthcare provider you haven’t seen before may need to review a recent X-Ray or MRI report. Given that the average adult juggles six patient portal accounts simultaneously, it’s not surprising that people have so much trouble managing their health records and accessing them when needed.”
More than half (54%) say that managing health records is difficult, which helps explain why some people:
- Keep paper printouts (36%)
- Don’t store them at all (32%)
- Use a mobile app (23%)
- Save copies on their computer (17%)
The study reveals other concerns around the ability to share important health information with family members and caregivers when needed, as more than half (52%) say doing so is difficult or impossible. Health record portability is also an issue, with 41% of Americans concerned about their ability to access their health records when traveling or away from home.
Helping consumers have better access to their health information is why DrFirst created the Huddle Health app. “With so many patient portals to keep track of, it’s nearly impossible for some people to get what they need when they need it,” said Banas. “Huddle works as a complement to portals, giving people a single place to keep track of and control their health records, both for themselves and the loved ones they are responsible for.”
Huddle Health allows users to collect and share critical records from their health history—including past and current medication lists, care plans, and provider and insurance information. Because the data stored in the app is owned by the consumer and not a healthcare entity or provider, the app is a game changer for families and caregivers who can now easily keep track of everyone in their care circle without having to access different patient portals.
Consumers’ data is stored securely in the cloud, and accounts can be protected with a PIN, fingerprint, or Face ID, depending on the phone’s features. The Huddle Health app is free and available at the App Store for iPhone users and on Google Play for Android devices.
A national online survey of 1,023 U.S. consumers, ages 18 and over, was conducted by Propeller Insights on behalf of DrFirst in March of 2022. Survey responses were nationally representative of the U.S. population for age, gender, region, and ethnicity. The maximum margin of sampling error was +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
Since 2000, DrFirst has pioneered healthcare technology solutions and consulting services that securely connect people at touchpoints of care to improve patient outcomes. We create unconventional solutions that solve care collaboration, medication management, price transparency, and adherence challenges faced in healthcare. We unite the Healthiverse—the interconnected healthcare universe—by providing our clients with real-time access to the information they need, exactly when and how they need it, so patients get the best care possible. DrFirst solutions are used by nearly 325,000 healthcare professionals, including more than 220,000 prescribers, 70,000 pharmacies, 290 HIS/EHRs, and 1,500 hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. To learn more, visit www.DrFirst.com and follow @DrFirst.