Physicians, patients at odds over value of health data

A doctor at a desk holding up his hand to say stop
Physicians and patients are at odds over the value of personal health data.

It’s a big disconnect: The vast majority of physicians say healthcare data is overwhelming, redundant and doesn’t make a difference in care quality. But most patients say their primary care physician's office should store any personal health data they ask them to.  

That’s according to a new Black Book research survey in which 94% of physicians said they’re deluged with what they think is useless data, while 91% of their tech-savvy patients want them to have more of it.

The survey also found that patients don't completely trust the privacy and security of health information technology such as electronic health records and patient portals.

RELATED: Patients don't trust health information technology

But among tech-savvy patients--those that use wearable technologies, health-related mobile apps and patient portals, physicians are not meeting their data access expectations. 

For example, the survey found: 

  • 94% of patients with with health or activity trackers said their physician, when asked, informed them the practice had no capability or interest in coordinating their outcomes currently via their EHR.
  • 98% of patients using a nutritional or weight loss app had similar responses from their doctors.
  • 91% of patients who find their apps and devices relevant to their health improvement felt slighted by their providers who would not accommodate their personal data.
  • 96% of physician office patients said they left their visit with poorly communicated or miscommunicated instructions on patient portal use.
  • 83% of patients who tried to use a patient portal recommended to them by their physicians found it difficult to navigate when at home.
  • 89% of consumers say they want access to more information and choices in their treatment providers, locations and alternatives.

Meanwhile, docs are still complaining about “Dr. Google:” 82% said some highly literate patients surfing healthcare internet sites collect both valid and invalid information about their condition, often complicating diagnoses and exceeding time allotments for visits currently under the current system, according to Black Book.

And 85% of doctors still fear that EHRs and other technologies have made patient care too impersonal, according to the survey.

RELATED: Two different patient experiences reveal what’s wrong with medicine

“In this age of healthcare consumerism, people want to receive care through technologically enabled alternatives like telemedicine visits, secure email communications with their practitioner and immediate access to records and scheduling,” Black Book's Managing Partner Doug Brown said in a statement emailed to FierceHealthIT.