Trust & Electronic Medical Records

The Consumerist recently posted on something we haven’t tackled in our posts on electronic medical records: patient trust and privacy.

The California HealthCare Foundation recently released the results of a survey on electronic medical records and consumer behavior. The survey found that 15% of people would hide things from their doctor if the medical record system shared anonymous data with other organizations. Another 33% weren’t sure, but would consider hiding something.

Interestingly, the data come from a report titled “New National Survey Finds Personal Health Records Motivate Consumers to Improve Their Health.”

When people are asked about accessing their personal health records (PHRs) online, they said: (from the report)

  • PHR Users Pay More Attention. More than half of PHR users have learned more about their health as a result of their PHR and one third of those say they used the PHR to take a specific action to improve their health.
  • Low-Income, Chronically Ill Benefit More from PHRs. Nearly 60% of PHR users with incomes below $50,000 feel more connected to their doctor as a result of their PHR, compared to 31% of higher income users. And four out of ten PHR users with multiple chronic conditions did something to improve their health, compared to 24% of others interviewed.
  • Doctors Are Most Trusted. About half of all survey respondents say they want to use PHRs provided by their physicians (58%) or insurers (50%). Just one in four (25%) reports wanting to use PHRs developed and marketed by private technology companies.
  • Privacy Remains a Concern. Sixty-eight percent of respondents are very or somewhat concerned about the privacy of their medical records, about the same number who were concerned in a 2005 CHCF survey. PHR users are less worried about the privacy of the information in their PHR.

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