The polling question was simple.
Should patients have access to their entire medical record ‒ including MD notes, any audio recordings, etc…?
For many, the response by over 2,300 physicians came as no real surprise.
- 49% ‒ Access to all records should only be given on a case‒by‒case basis
- 34% ‒ Yes, Always
- 17% ‒ No, Never
In effect ‒ a full two‒thirds (66%) were clearly reluctant to share health data with their patients. A significant 17% were completely opposed to the idea outright‒ ever.
It’s an important question because while there’s been a fair amount of criticism recently toward competitive software vendors in healthcare (aka ‒ “information blockers“), there’s been little insight into the sentiment on the part of the actual authors of the data ‒ the doctors themselves. Individual opinions are both anecdotal and varied, so this represents the first poll of physician’s directly and was conducted through the large physician social network known as SERMO.
SERMO is a leading ‒ if not the largest ‒ social network exclusively for physicians. A key feature of the network is being anonymous which fosters the open exchange of information, insight and second opinions within a large clinical network with no risk of recrimination. I’ve written about the value of patient anonymity before, and SERMO is applying similar benefits of social networking among physicians.
The statistics behind the SERMO network are key to understanding the scale and value of clinical opinions collected through it ‒ even if the process isn’t scientific.
- About 305,000 US doctor are SERMO members (~40% of American Physician community)
- About 38,000 UK physicians (~16% of UK physician community)
- 3,500 challenging patient cases were posted to the network by doctors last year
- These patient cases were viewed 700,000 times and received 50,000 comments
The results do reflect a strong clinical reluctance to sharing health data with patients. Commenting is also available as part of the poll and here’s a sampling of two opposing comments that received the most number of votes considered ‘helpful.’
Read Dan Munro’s full article on Forbes!