Patients want physicians to communicate more with each other, study finds

Most patients do not mind having their doctors talk about them behind their backs, according to a new survey by Lake Research Partners for the Campaign for Better Care, a diverse group of consumer-related groups. In fact, almost 75 percent of surveyed adults (age 50 and older) said they were in favor of their doctors communicating with each other. Survey respondents also revealed some of the frustrations they'd experienced as a result of poor coordination of care, including 36 percent who said they'd received conflicting information from different doctors and 13 percent (20 percent among Latinos) who had to redo a test or procedure because the doctor or hospital did not get the initial results.

One program that seeks to eliminate these problems is the Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council's Health Information Exchange Pilot Project in Georgia.

Through the new records exchange program, two partners, J.C. Lewis Primary Healthcare Center, a Union Mission program, and Memorial University Medical Center's emergency department, will share medical records for uninsured and under-insured patients with care providers to increase efficiency and promote access to care, Dr. Paula Reynolds, council executive director, told the Savannah Morning News.

Though patients have the choice of opting out of the program, those who participate will no longer find themselves visiting the ED, then going to the primary-care provider and having tests repeated, said Aretha Jones, vice president for health services at Union Mission, adding that the program will reduce duplication of services for patients, streamline the delivery services and improve patient care.

For more on the study and the program:
- read this article
- read this release from the Campaign for Better Care
- check out this Savannah Morning News article