Patients: EHR’s are not working for us

KEY TAKEAWAY: Patient’s are not happy with physician portals and EHR’s.  Among the biggest complaints are really bad user experiences and the fact that it makes them feel like they don’t own their own medical records.

During the research I attended in the last week one reoccurring theme among all demographics was that they hate EHR’s and physician portals.   We continually heard stories from people about the failure of doctors to talk to one another and send medical records for appointments. In short patients believe that their medical records belong to them and they don’t want anyone having access beyond their doctors and them.

Now I consider myself an advanced Internet user.  I was an Apple Developer and have pages for clients buy when it comes to logging on to my doctors portal I run into all kinds of problems.  It’s often very difficult to find test results and even though I have the password stored in a safe location it often tells me I’m using the wrong password which requires me to reset my password.

When we brought up the subject of EHR’s with our research groups they went off on bottled up complaints.  “Has anyone ever asked you for feedback or input on EHR’s?” the moderator asked upon which there was dead silence.

EHR’s and physician portals could be a saving grace for most patients if they had the information that pertained to them and if they were user friendly.  At this point they fail miserably.  There are however some bright spots on the horizon.  The startup, we did the research for is, I believe, going to revolutionize EHR’s and physician portals.  Rather than take a lot of VC money and run they are taking a measured research approach to get the product right at launch.   When that happens, vendors like Athena will see their market share erode which is long overdue.