Medical Information Confusion Prompts Americans To Seek Web Advice

A survey commissioned by the American Health Information Management Association Foundation found that the vast majority of Americans do not fully comprehend the medical information given by their providers, causing them to seek consultation with third-party resources such as the internet. Furthermore, most patients have a poor handle on their personal medical information.

Kelton Global, which conducted the survey with 1,000 U.S. adults, says that 3 in 4 report being left disoriented and dissatisfied following a doctor's visit. 1 in 4 were uncomfortable with asking certain sensitive-information questions, and more than 1 in 10 felt less informed of their medical situation than before the appointment. Caregivers are also sharing these sentiments on behalf of their loved ones; almost half of those surveyed reported some level of concern about the provider-patient information exchange. These communication frustrations have led many Americans to rely on online search engines and alternative medicine publications for guidance.

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In addressing this prescient matter, the Biden administration's new national coordinator for health IT, Micky Tripathi, PhD, has said that the information-protecting and interoperability rules included in the 21st Century Cures Act were meant to improve patients' sense of control over their health information. Consequently, the health data application market is empowered to enhance accessibility features in the interest of keeping patients tuned in to accurate metrics. There is evidence this gambit will pay off: Among patients given health portal access in 2020, over 6 in 10 logged in at least once, representing an 11% increase from 2017.