Provider Use of EHRs Could Deter Patient Disclosure, Study Finds

July 31, 2014 in News

Some patients withhold information from their health care provider out of privacy and security concerns related to the use of electronic health records, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, FierceEMR reports (Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 7/28).

Details of Study

For the study, researchers examined a nationally representative sample from the 2012 Health Information National Trends Survey.

They analyzed whether global care ratings suppress the relationship between patients’ withholding of information and providers’ use of an EHR system (Camposs-Castillo/Anthony, JAMIA, 7/24).


The study found that 13% of respondents to the 2012 survey said they had withheld information from a health care provider out of privacy or security concerns.

The researchers then conducted a bivariate and multivariate analysis to determine whether there was a correlation between patients’ non-disclosure and provider EHR use. ┬áThe first bivariate analysis did not find a correlation, but when researchers accounted for patients’ global assessment of care quality, they found a positive correlation between EHR use and the withholding of information.

The researchers said that their findings “suggest that perceived EHR usage may elicit nondisclosure to protect privacy.” They recommended that providers:

  • Consider how EHR use could impede patient disclosure;
  • Discuss the benefits of EHRs with patients; and
  • Discuss concerns about privacy and security with patients (FierceEMR, 7/28).
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