Skip to content Skip to navigation

Study: Given the Chance, Half of Patients Withhold Critical Information in EMR

December 24, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints
In a recent trial for a research study, nearly half of patients with access to and control over their electronic medical record (EMR) chose to withhold clinically sensitive information. 
Researchers, led by a team from Clemson University, examined the impact of patient-controlled access to the EMR. The Clemson team interviewed patients on their privacy and sharing preferences. From those interviews, they designed an interface that allowed patients to control how and to whom their medical data was shared. They then conducted a six-month trial with 105 patients using this interface.
In this trial, 49 percent of patients withheld sensitive information from some or all of their healthcare providers. This critical information could include whether or not they have a sexually transmitted disease or substance abuse problems. Moreover, the researchers say that patients strongly desired having this kind of control over their data. Providers were supportive, although about a quarter said they felt very uncomfortable about not being able to see all of the information in their patients' records. Those against it say that it could jeopardize care. The interface allowed providers to view hidden data if they felt the care plan required them to do so.
"It is critically important to consider patients' privacy preferences about their health information," stated Kelly Caine, assistant professor in Clemson's School of Computing. “If we fail to design systems that meet patients' needs and desires about the extent to which their health data are shared, patients will reject them or even refuse to seek care."
The findings were published in Journal of General Internal Medicine.


CMS Hospital Compare Website Updated with VA Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the inclusion of Veterans Administration (VA) hospital performance data as part of the federal agency’s Hospital Compare website.

CMS Awards Funding to Special Innovation Projects

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded 20, two-year Special Innovation Projects (SIPs) aimed at local efforts to deliver better care at lower cost.

Center of Excellence in Genomic Science to be Established in Chicago

The National Human Genome Research Institute has awarded $10.6 million over five years for the establishment of a new research center in Chicago to advance genomic science.

EHNAC and HITRUST Combine HIPAA Security Criteria, CSF Framework

The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) and the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) announced plans to streamline their accreditation and certification programs.

Halamka on MACRA Final Rule: “CMS is Listening and I Thank Them”

Health IT notable expert John Halamka, M.D., CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, recently weighed in on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) final rule.

Texas Patient Care Clinic Hit with Ransomware Attack

Grand Prairie, Texas-based Rainbow Children's Clinic was the victim of a ransomware attack on its IT systems in August, affecting more than 33,000 patients, according to multiple news media reports this week.