iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

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?

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.

Informed consent the electronic way

FDA released draft guidance last week outlining ways for clinical investigators, sponsors and institutional review boards to use electronic media to obtain patients’ informed consent for clinical investigations, reacting to researchers’ increasing interest in using electronic media instead of the traditional written informed consent document.

Accenture Survey: Majority of Seniors Want to Access Healthcare From Home

An Accenture survey regarding senior attitudes toward digital healthcare tools found that:

  • 67% of seniors want to access healthcare service from home.
  • 66% of seniors do not think available technology is sufficient for them to access healthcare from home.
  • Currently 25% of seniors use electronic health records portals regularly to manage their health.
  • Of those that currently use these portals, 57% use them to access lab results.
  • More than 60% of seniors are willing to wear a health tracking device to monitor vital signs.
  • Over 66% of seniors prefer to use self-care technology rather than managing health independently.

Source: Accenture, March 2, 2015

We need to effectively use electronic health information

HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Version 1.0. The draft Roadmap is a proposal to deliver better care and result in healthier people through the safe and secure exchange and use of electronic health information.

How the technology environment has changed

96% of physicians interviewed in a recent study use Smartphones as their primary device to support clinical communications. Source: “STUDY:  HOSPITAL IT PAYING LIP SERVICE TO ADDRESS PHYSICIAN MOBILE REQUIREMENTS, SAYS SPYGLASS CONSULTING GROUP,” Spyglass Consulting Group, January 14, 2015,

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Taking Hold

CMS Says 77% of Eligible Hospitals Have Attested to Stage 2 MU
The attestation rate for hospitals eligible to attest to Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program currently stands at 77 percent, according to Elisabeth Myers from the CMS Office of E-Health Standards and Services. READ MORE »

Doctors use mHealth technologies to engage in continued medical education

Report: Docs find mHealth tools beneficial A Deloitte report showed that 75% of doctors surveyed use mobile health technologies to view clinical data at the point of care, while 72% use them to research health conditions, diseases, interventions and prescriptions. In addition, 63% of doctors use mHealth technologies to engage in continued medical education. (9/18)

Status update – meeting meaningful use criteria

While most hospitals are able to meet many of the sixteen federal stage 2 meaningful-use criteria (used to assess the extent of the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records), only 5.8% of hospitals are able to meet them all, according to a recent study. Source: “More Than Half of US Hospitals Have At Least A Basic EHR, But Stage 2 Criteria Remain Challenging For Most,” Health Affairs, August 2014,

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