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Access to Affordable Healthcare

5 Things You Need to Ask Your Doctor About Your Healthcare Information

Steve Wretling

Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)

In our big data world, there’s three words you shouldn’t hear from your doctor when asking a simple question about your own data: “I don’t know.”

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the largest and oldest health IT nonprofit, is sharing  five questions that patients across the United States can ask any of their doctors to help them access their own health information and better understand what to expect after leaving an appointment. 

The answer “I don’t know” is a result of many hospitals and practices not yet making their electronic health records and systems interoperable, meaning they don’t connect with outside groups like insurance companies and other healthcare practices and labs. This leads to surprise medical bills, test results that create misunderstandings, and a lack of crucial follow-ups. 

As seen in other industries from airlines to finance, consumer demands speak the loudest. Therefore, experts at HIMSS want to give patients a voice to spark action from health systems and technology providers in order to bring healthcare up to speed to meet consumer expectations. 

Ask your doctor today:

  1. How do I control who has access to my data?
  2. Where can I review your notes from this visit?
  3. When and how will I receive my test results? 
  4. Based on my insurance, how much will the tests you conducted/ordered today cost?
  5. When and how will I be billed?
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