Poll: Majority of Patients Want Access, Control Over Their Health Data

May 6, 2014 in News

A majority of patients want access to and control over their health care information, according to a survey by Accenture, Healthcare IT News reports.

Accenture surveyed 918 individuals who were healthy and 1,093 who had a chronic illness, such as:

  • Asthma;
  • Arthritis;
  • Cancer;
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
  • Clinically diagnosed obesity;
  • Depression;
  • Diabetes;
  • Osteoporosis; and
  • Stroke (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 5/5).

Survey Findings

Overall, researchers found that 69% of all respondents said they believed they had a right to access all of their health care information (Conn, “Vital Signs,” Modern Healthcare, 5/5).

In addition, 51% said they believed having access to their health care information outweighed the privacy risks (Walsh, Clinical Innovation Technology, 5/5).

Of the respondents with chronic illnesses:

  • 87% said it was either “important” or “very important” that they have control over their health care information, compared with 86% of healthy respondents;
  • 70% said they had never accessed their electronic health records from providers with EHR systems, compared with 76% of healthy respondents;
  • 65% reported concerns about their personal privacy, compared with 61% of healthy respondents;
  • 39% said they thought they had some control over their health care information, compared with 38% of healthy respondents; and
  • 17% said they had complete control over their health care information, compared with 16% of healthy respondents.

Implications

According to “Vital Signs,” the survey’s findings indicate a disconnect between patients’ desired access and control over their health care information and the health care system’s availability of such connectivity (“Vital Signs,” Modern Healthcare, 5/5).

In a statement, Kaveh Safavi, leader of Accenture’s global health business, said, “Health care will need to adapt to a new generation of individuals who are taking a more proactive role in managing their health and expect to have transparency.”

Safavi added, “As consumers continue to demand more access to their personal data online, we expect that patients will gain more power to manage some aspects of their own care” (Healthcare IT News, 5/5).

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