Patients with medical record privacy concerns 3 times more likely to withhold info from physicians: study 

Patients who worry about their electronic health records being compromised in a breach incident are three times more likely to withhold information from their physicians than individuals who don't share the same concern, according to a July 31 Journal of General Internal Medicine study.

Columbus-based Ohio State University College of Medicine researchers analyzed data from a survey of hospital patients about their opinions on health IT and perceptions about information security risks and privacy.

Researchers found that patients who had concerns that their medical information would be compromised if sent electronically between providers were three times more likely to withhold personal health information from their provider compared to patients without concerns. For patients who were confident about the privacy of their health information, the likelihood of them keeping information from their provider was about half of those who were not confident in privacy protections.

Black patients were generally more likely to withhold information in comparison to white patients; and patients less likely to keep information from their provider were generally older, married, employed, in good mental health and had health insurance.

Researchers concluded that providers should address patients' privacy concerns by reinforcing technology safeguards including secure and encrypted communication and clearly communicate to patients about how their medical data is accessed, stored and used.


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