ONC: EHR Adoption Not Associated With Patients’ Security Concerns

June 3, 2015 in News

A majority of U.S. residents support the electronic transmission of their medical records between their providers despite privacy or security concerns, according to a data brief from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, FierceEMR reports (Hall, FierceEMR, 6/2).  

Data Brief Details

For the data brief, ONC compared the findings a of 2013 survey of more than 2,000 residents, with a similar survey conducted in 2012 to gauge whether privacy and security concerns have grown with increased rates of EHR adoption (ONC data brief, June 2015).

Data Brief Findings

Overall, ONC found that:

  • About 70% of respondents had concerns about privacy; and
  • About 75% had concerns about security (FierceEMR, 6/2).   

Those concerns did not significantly change between 2012 and 2013, according to the data brief (ONC data brief, June 2015).

In addition, the data brief showed no significant difference between the privacy and security concerns of patients whose providers use EHRs and those who use paper records (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 6/3).

Overall, about 60% of respondents had concerns about unauthorized viewing of their records. Respondents reported similar rates of concern for information shared electronically and for information shared via fax, according to the data brief.

Despite privacy and security concerns, the data brief found:

  • About 75% of respondents said they would like their provider to use EHRs; and
  • About 70% were in favor of their provider sharing their health data electronically with other providers.

In addition, less than 10% of respondents said they had withheld information from a physician because of privacy or security concerns. Individuals whose physicians used EHRs were slightly more likely than individuals whose physicians use paper records to withhold information, according to the data brief (FierceEMR, 6/2). 

ONC said that the data brief “suggests that increased adoption of EHRs is not associated with individuals’ privacy and security concerns” (Health Data Management, 6/3).  

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