Two Studies Find that Patients Want Access to their Health Records, Including Clinical Pathology Test Data
Patients are ready to ready access to their medical records; but physicians are wary
Data from two studies here in the United States affirms that patients want access to their health records. Consequently, health systems are increasingly making it easier for patients to get access to prescription lists, medical laboratory test results and now even doctors’ notes.
These findings are important for clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups. Laboratory test data typically makes up 70% of the information contained in patient’s health record. The growing interest on the part of patients to have access to their health records creates an opportunity for labs to add value by helping patients have access to their laboratory test results.
Of course, in providing that access, labs must comply with applicable laws governing patient privacy. They must also respect the relationship patients have with referring physicians and how those physicians are themselves allowing patients access to the health records they maintain in their medical practices.