Study: Health IT Use Doesn’t Guarantee Doctors Receive Patient Data

January 20, 2015 in News

More than one-third of physicians who use health IT do not receive the patient data needed to coordinate care, according to a study published in the journal Medical Care, Clinical Innovation Technology reports (Pedulli, Clinical Innovation Technology, 1/19).

Details of Study

For the study, researchers examined data from about 4,500 office-based physicians who responded to a nationally representative survey in 2012 on electronic health record use and electronic data sharing.

The physicians were asked about how often they received certain types of patient health information for effective care coordination. Specifically, the study focused on whether health IT use was associated with a higher share of physicians receiving such data.


According to the study:

  • 39% of surveyed physicians had an EHR system but did not electronically share patient health data;
  • About 33% had an EHR system and shared patient health data electronically; and
  • 25% did not have an EHR system or electronically share patient health data (Goth, Health Data Management, 1/19).

The study found that regardless of health IT use:

  • 64% of respondents reported routinely receiving data on patients’ visits with health care providers not within their practice;
  • 54% said they received patients’ hospital discharge information; and
  • 46% said they received health data for patients who were referred from other practices (Clinical Innovation Technology, 1/19).

However, the study authors wrote that “roughly one-third of physicians reported” not receiving data on patients’ visits with other providers, discharge data and referral data on a regular basis.

Physicians who used health IT were slightly more likely to get necessary patient health data than those who did not use health IT. Specifically, 48% of physicians who regularly used health IT received health data on patients referred from other practices, compared with 40% of physicians who did not use health IT (Health Data Management, 1/19).

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