Patients like seeing lab results online

Patients able to view their lab results online overwhelmingly reacted positively to being able to do so, according to a new study published in the Journal of Participatory Medicine.

The study conducted an email survey of Kaiser Permanente members who had viewed at least one test result online in the last year, with 1,546 respondents. According to the study, survey participants reported, "high levels" of satisfaction, appreciation, calm, happiness and relief. Few were confused, upset or angry at being able to see lab results online. 

After reviewing results online, the most common actions were discussing results with family and friends, looking up information online or making a graph of results over time. It was also important for doctors to set patients' expectations--in doing so, they were less likely to follow up on test results by calling, emailing or setting up new appointments, according to the study.

"The findings that patients largely react positively to seeing test results online should be reassuring to physician practices that are considering adding a patient portal with PHR to their practice websites," study authors wrote. The study results could serve as a good reason to expand test outcomes online for practices already using patient portals.

Last spring, FierceHealthIT reported that patients prefer to have instant--or near-instant--access to their radiology test reports, even when the findings may be difficult to understand, according to a study conducted by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

As reported in March, most U.S. doctors believe patients should be able to update their electronic health records, but only 31 percent say patients should have access to their full health record, according to a new poll by Accenture.

In a Wolters Kluwer Health survey published last December, consumers said they want to use online tools to manage their healthcare, but only 19 percent said they have access to a personal health record.

To learn more:
- read the study

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