Poll: Most Patients Expect EHR Use, but Only Half Trust EHR Security

May 31, 2014 in News

Although the majority of patients expect hospitals to use electronic health records, only about half say they believe EHR technology is secure, according to a new poll by Morning Consult.

The poll surveyed a national sample of 3,687 voters from March 21 to March 23 and May 2 to May 4.

Findings on EHR Expectations

The poll found that 83% of likely voters said they expect hospitals to use EHR systems, compared with just 8% who said they do not expect such use.

However, expectations about hospitals’ EHR use varied by age, with:

  • 79% of respondents ages 18 to 29 saying that they expect their hospitals to use EHRs;
  • More than 80% of respondents ages 30 to 44 saying that they expect their hospitals to use EHRs; and
  • 80% of respondents ages 45 to 65 saying that they expect their hospitals to use EHRs.

Expectations also varied by insurance status, with:

  • 68% of uninsured respondents saying that they expect their hospitals to use EHRs; and
  • More than 80% of insured respondents saying that they expect their hospitals to use EHRs.

Findings on Respondents’ Trust of EHRs

When asked about the safety of EHRs:

  • 53% of respondents said that they trusted that their EHRs were safe;
  • 39% said they were worried about the safety of their EHRs; and
  • 8% said they did not know about the safety of EHRs.

The poll found that trust in EHR systems varied by age, with:

  • More than 60% of respondents ages 18 to 29 saying that they trusted the safety of their EHRs;
  • Just over 50% of respondents ages 30 to 44 saying they trusted the safety of their EHRs; and
  • About 40% of those ages 45 to 64 saying they trusted the safety of their EHRs.

The poll also found that trust in EHRs varied by education levels, with:

  • 50% of individuals with less than a college education saying that they trusted the safety of their EHRs;
  • 57% of individuals with a college education saying that they trusted the safety of their EHRs; and
  • 61% of those with a post-graduate education saying that they trusted the safety of their EHRs.

Finding on Expected, Preferred Medical Technologies

The poll also found varying expectations about the technology health care providers should use to record patients’ health data. For example:

  • 38% of respondents said that they expected providers to use an iPad or tablet;
  • 34% said they expected providers to use a laptop;
  • 17% said they expected providers to use an iPhone or smartphone; and
  • 2% said they expected providers to use a different device.

In addition, the survey found that 60% of respondents said they would use an application that would store their health records and medical history, compared with 16% who said they would not (Ramlet, Morning Consult, 5/29).

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