Physicians need easier access to patient medical history data.

The lack of easily interoperable data across EHR platforms exacerbates the current issues of the US’ fragmented provider market, because a single provider may use an EHR platform where data cannot be exchanged to another provider using a different EHR. The lack of providers’ access to patient health records means that many physicians have an incomplete understanding of a patient's medical history. Only 50% of physicians were satisfied with access to patient records through EHR, including records on information like medications, which only 17% said could be seen.

The compounding effects are significant, because incomplete information could lead to misdiagnoses and prescription of treatments that may have negative side effects. Information provided by patients is also held in doubt, because many physicians are concerned about the patient unknowingly omitting critical information or simply providing incorrect information. These issues can appear anywhere from normal physician appointments to emergency hospitalizations.

From the perspective of long-term technology usage, the lack of access to complete medical history has the potential to mute the gains of predictive health technologies. These technologies can range from drug-to-drug interaction modeling to care plan adjustment -- any of which could be rendered useless with insufficient input.