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Consumers Want Data Sharing, Despite Privacy Concerns

November 12, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Although 75 percent of patients express concern over the privacy and security of their medical records, less than one in 10 individuals withhold information from their healthcare providers due to those concerns, according to a nationwide survey by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).

As electronic health record (EHR) adoption was increasing and in anticipation of the exchange of health information increasing as well, ONC wanted to assess whether that would impact individuals’ concerns regarding their medical records, said ONC’s Vaishali Patel, Ph.D.

 The nationally representative survey of individuals conducted in 2012 and 2013 found that while privacy and security concerns were slightly higher when a provider had a paper medical record, the differences were not statistically significant. A majority of Americans did express concerns regarding providers sending medical records, whether paper or electronic; this concern didn’t change between 2012 and 2013.

Overall, the support for electronic health records (EHRs) and health information exchange (HIE) was consistent and relatively high (more than 70 percent in both years) despite potential privacy or security concerns.

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