By Evan Sweeney @ Fierce Healthcare
Although the vast majority of hospitals and physicians provided access to EHRs in 2015, very few patients took advantage, calling into question the effectiveness of efforts led by the Department of Health and Human Services. Just 15% of hospital patients electronically accessed their medical records despite 88% of hospitals offering access, according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Nearly one-third of patients accessed EHRs offered by physician practices.
The GAO indicated that HHS has invested more than $35 billion in health IT, part of which included funding to enhance patient access to EHRs. Those efforts were largely overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). The ONC has prioritized patient access to medical records through several initiatives, including the Patient Engagement Playbook and EHR certification requirements.
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