The role of technology in medical care continues to grow. And yet, only about 40 percent of people say they’re able to access their medical records online. (1)

It’s confusing to say the least, as there are advantages to accessing health records digitally for both patients and medical providers.

And because medical tech continues to evolve rapidly, many of the excuses you hear as to why records aren’t available online are simply outdated or no longer true.

So, why don’t more patients get their health information online?

Here are some facts and myths debunked, along with information on why it’s a good move for medical providers.

Patients Don’t Want Their Medical Records Online

Fact or myth: Myth

It’s easy to throw out the excuse that older people won’t like having their medical information online or that such a service only benefits younger generations. But that simply isn’t true.

One survey found that families and patients of all ages said they would absolutely access medical records online, so long as it was convenient and secure. 

Some may resist change, but that’s true of any decision you make. Given that technology is a part of nearly everyone’s daily life, it’s a pretty safe bet to assume that most people will adjust to it quickly.

Accessing Medical Records Online Is Too Complicated

Fact or myth: Myth

Accessing health information online might have been complicated ten years ago. But that’s not really the case anymore.

In fact, most EHRs today are cloud-based and constantly updated. This enables medical providers to give their patients the best possible care.

Good EHRs also come equipped with encrypted email technology

Seeing as there are literally more than 3 billion people using email in the world today, it’s a stretch to say this is too complicated or outside the reach of most people. 

Perhaps email could serve as the bridge that helps introduce technology to hesitant patients.

Medical Providers Don’t Offer Enough Incentives

Fact or myth: Fact

It’s human nature to ask the question: What’s in it for me?

So it goes with accessing medical records online. Patients who are dismissive or indifferent to it could change their tune with some simple education. 

And as medical providers, it’s your duty to pass this information along.

Did you know people are twice as likely to access their medical records online when prompted to do so by their doctor? (2)

Be sure to also explain how it saves time and money and makes accessing documents much easier. A little empathy and education can go a long way.

Connecting With Third Parties Is Difficult

Fact or myth: Myth

Medical providers know patient-client relationships are not the only type of communication they deal with online. Patients submit a ton of third-party requests for medical records, be it for a different medical facility, a court order, or in the event of a personal injury claim. 

This can muddy the waters. But today’s EHRs are being built to accommodate seamless and secure transfers to and from third-party entities.

ShareScape connects busy medical providers with attorneys. Medical providers bear the costs, but the fee is inexpensive. Especially when you compare it to the staff needed to service law firms. And the fee is based on the volume of patient accounts.

patient access medical records online

It’s Unsafe (and Possibly a HIPAA Violation)

Fact or myth: Myth

The rise in cybercriminal activity definitely is cause for concern. But it shouldn’t sway you away from putting medical records online.

In fact, it should be a reason to consider putting them online.

2021 updated HIPAA guidelines state that the most common HIPAA violations are:

  • Denying patients their medical records
  • Overcharging for copies
  • Failing to provide documents within 30 days

Couldn’t all of these be solved with secure digital transmission of health information?

HIPAA also states that so long as you are taking additional safety measures, such as sending encrypting emails, you are in compliance.

It’s Costly

Fact or myth: Myth

There are up-front costs associated with moving a medical facility online. Selecting an EHR, getting your staff trained, and the potential frustration of patients are all common.

However, accessing medical records online actually saves you time and money long-term. Cost-saving benefits include:

  • Reduced administrative staff requirements
  • Streamlined tasks
  • Less time wasted by doctors on administrative tasks 
  • Reduced staff turnover

Look at the long-term benefits and weigh those against the up-front costs. You might find online record sharing is actually better for your bottom line.

Moving Forward

Suffice it to say, it’s surprising that so few patients can access their medical records online.

Medical providers are moving in this direction, but many are hesitant due to perceived risks. But as you’ve seen, the majority of them aren’t really a concern.

Thinking about moving online?

Request a demo and see how ShareScape saves busy medical providers and attorneys time when sending and receiving medical records!