iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

Are your health records safe

According to a recent survey, 72% of U.S. adults are concerned that their online healthcare records are vulnerable to hackers, down slightly from 76% last year. Source: New University of Phoenix Survey Reveals Majority of U.S. Adults are Concerned Their Online Healthcare Records are Vulnerable to Hackers, University of Phoenix press release, September 28, 2016.  

10% of organizations are considered ‘ahead of the curve’ in data maturity


According to a recent Vanson Bourne Global Data Protection Index:

10% of organizations are considered ,ahead of the curve, in data maturity.
8% of U.S. businesses are ,ahead of the curve,, the study found.
56% of organizations keep the IT environment on premise, while 29% use a public cloud.
27% of respondents indicated they would use backups for data protection.
20% indicated it would be easier to achieve backup and service-level agreements for disaster recovery.
The U.S. is ranked 14 of 18 countries when it comes to data maturity.
Source: U.S. Healthcare Industry Lagging on Data Protection, Healthcare IT News, August 22, 2016

50% Looked Up Health Information on the Internet in 2015

The Centers for Disease Control recently released results from the National Health Interview Survey on health information technology use. Here are some key findings from the report:

  • 3.7% used online chat groups to learn about a health topic in the past 12 months.
  • Half of everyone surveyed looked up health information on the internet in 2015.
  • 8.7% filled a prescription online in the past 12 months.
  • 1 in 10 scheduled an appointment with a healthcare provider online in 2015.
  • 11.2% communicated with a health provider by email in the past 12 months.
  • 3 in 4 with advanced degrees looked up health information online, vs. 35% of high school graduates.

Source: CDC, May 18, 2016

What should the alert expectation be?

According to a recent study of the electronic logs of 3 large practices, primary care physicians received a mean of 76.9.electronic notifications each day, while specialists received a mean of only 29.1 notifications per day. Source: “The Burden of Inbox Notifications in Commercial Electronic Health Records,” JAMA Internal Medicine, March 14, 2016,

What should the expectation be? What’s a good ratio of patients to alerts? Does the disease burden and morbidity play a role here?

It is time that patients have complete access to their records

Only 39% of patients say their medical providers directly exchange medical records, while 25% of the patients must deliver a paper copy to the other provider themselves, according to a recent survey. Source: “Are Patients Ready for EHR Interoperability? IndustryView | 2015,” Software Advice, September 28, 2015,

The importance of having one’s own medical information is growing

In 2013, more than half (54.9 percent) of patients said it was important to them that they get their own medical information electronically, a jump from 2008, when 44.3 percent of patients said so, according to recent findings from AHRQ’s newly released Chartbook on Care Coordination.  Having electronic access to their medical information mattered more to younger patients (18 to 34) than to patients 65 and older. However, having their doctors and other health providers share medical information electronically with each other for care coordination was most important to older patients, followed by middle-aged (35–64) and younger patients. Patients across all ethnic groups and educational levels want their doctors and other health care providers to be able to share medical information electronically, the chartbook shows.  From 2008 to 2013, the percentage of Black patients who said sharing medical information electronically was very important grew from 37.2 percent to 47.6 percent; among Whites, the percentage grew from 42.6 percent to 54.6 percent; and Hispanics, from 40.1 percent to 53.2 percent. For more information on the Chartbook on Care Coordination, part of AHRQ’s National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports, please visit:

Health Plan Member Portals Are Coming of Age

Now that we beyond the tipping point and see the benefit, let’s get on with it

According to a recent survey of registered nurses who use Electronic Health Record systems (EHRs):

  • 71% would not consider going back to paper-based medical records
  • 72% agreed that EHRs improve patient safety and avoid medication errors
  • 43% agreed that EHRs eliminate duplicate work
  • 33% agreed that EHRs give nurses more time with patients

Source: “Nurses Agree EHRs Improve Patient Safety,” Allscripts News Release, May 6, 2015,

Insurers and Wearable Technologies: Trends, Attitudes, and Projections


Accenture recently released their annual Technology Vision for Insurance report. Here are some key findings from the survey:

  • 63% of respondents believe that wearable technologies will be adopted broadly by the insurance industry
  • Almost one-third said they are already using wearables to engage customers, employees or partners.
  • 73% of insurers said that providing a personalized customer experience is one of their top three priorities
  • Half claim to already see a positive return from their investment in personalized technologies
  • 75% believe the next generation of platforms will be led by insurance players, not technology companies
  • Half (51%) said they plan to partner with major digital technology and cloud platform leaders

Source: Accenture, May 5, 2015

EHRs: More work to be done

AHRQ Study: Many Electronic Health Record Systems Have Limited Capabilities in Graphing Lab Results

A new AHRQ-funded study found that many electronic health record (EHR) systems have significant limitations in their graphing capabilities for laboratory test results, which could have serious implications for clinical decision-making and patient safety. The study evaluated the graphical displays in eight EHRs using 11 evaluation criteria based on literature and expert opinion. For example, researchers evaluated labeling and data distribution in the test results graphs for accuracy and clarity. Researchers found that many commonly used EHRs did not meet several of the evidence-based criteria aimed at improving provider understanding of laboratory data, with no EHR meeting all 11 criteria. The authors recommended that as EHRs become more widely implemented and used in clinical decision-making, policymakers need to ensure that these systems clearly and accurately display lab results. The study, “Graphical Display of Diagnostic Test Results in Electronic Health Records: A Comparison of Eight Systems,” was published online March 19 in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

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