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U.S. Hospital Adoption of Patient Engagement Functionalities

Nearly 7 in 10 hospitals give patients the ability to view, download, and transmit their health information online

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Quick Stat Graphic
Online Patient Engagement Functionality Percent of Hospitals with Capability
2012 2013 2014 2015
1Measure was not collected in survey year
*See Note [1] below
Online Capabilities Incentivized by Federal Policy
View information from health/medical record 24% 39.8% 90.8% 95.1%
Download information from health/medical record 14.3% 27.8% 82.2% 86.8%
Transmit care/referral summaries to a third party N/A1 11.6% 66.4% 71.5%
View, download and transmit health information N/A1 10% 64% 68.8%
Secure messaging with health care provider* N/A1 N/A1 51.3% 63%
Online Capabilities Not Incentivized by Federal Policy
Request to update health/medical record 30.9% 32.8% 72.4% 77.1%
Pay bills 49.3% 55.4% 66.9% 74.1%
Schedule appointments 21.6% 29.8% 41.4% 43.6%
Request prescription refills 19.3% 27% 39.4% 42.1%
Submit patient-generated data 7.3% 12.5% 32.5% 37.1%

From 2012 to 2015 U.S. hospitals rapidly accelerated patient online access to health information and enabled online patient and health care provider communication, while other online capabilities were less universal. In 2015, nearly all hospitals enabled patients to view their health information online - triple the number of hospitals in 2012. The percentage of hospitals that provided patients the ability to view, download, and transmit their health information online increased significantly from 10% in 2013 to 69% in 2015. In addition, over 3 in 5 hospitals offered patients the ability to electronically send or receive secure messages with their health care provider.

Much of this growth is attributed to new federal requirements tied to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services payment policies and financial incentives to enable patient access to health information and medical records. Not all online patient capabilities, however, are incentivized by federal policies, and many of these services are unavailable to some consumers. For instance, about 3 out of 4 hospitals enable online bill payment, and less than half allow patients to schedule appointments and request prescription refills online.


ONC/American Hospital Association (AHA), AHA Annual Survey Information Technology Supplement.


[1] *Secure Messaging was added to survey in 2014. Data was not collected for 2012 and 2013.

[2] Data calculated from answers to survey question: "Are patients able to do any of the following regarding their health/medical records?" [multiple functionalities listed].

[3] The survey was fielded from October 2015 to the end of February 2016. The response rate for non-federal acute care hospitals was 56%.

[4] For more information on Hospital electronic patient engagement capabilities, please read ONC Data Brief #38: Electronic Capabilities for Patient Engagement among U.S. Non-Federal Acute Care Hospitals: 2013-2015.

Suggested Citation:

Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. 'U.S. Hospital Adoption of Patient Engagement Functionalities,' Health IT Quick-Stat #24. September 2016.