DPC’s most recent member survey asked patients their views on access to their electronic medical records to compare their opinions to those of the general public. Many physician practices that use electronic medical records make them available to their patients through secure “patient portals.” Half of dialysis patients say their main doctor gives them online access to their medical information, which is the same rate found for the public as a whole, according to a survey by the National Partnership for Women and Families.

Dialysis patients are more likely to think online access important. The DPC survey found that 83 percent of dialysis patients think it is “very important” or “somewhat important” to be provided with access to their medical and health information online. That compares to 64 percent of the public as a whole.

Generally, dialysis patients are less likely to actually log into their physician’s website to view information. According to the National Partnership, 86 percent of Americans with electronic access to their health records log on at least once a year; DPC’s survey found that 71 percent of dialysis patients do so.

However, there are twice as many “frequent users” among ESRD patients than among the general public. In fact, 36 percent of dialysis patients view their electronic health records at least once a month, compared to only 16 percent of Americans overall.