Study: 4 factors that influence whether patients share medical records with providers

There are four key factors that predict a patient's likelihood to want to share online medical records with their healthcare providers, according to a study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

The researchers — led by Mohamed Abdelhamid, PhD, an assistant professor of information systems at the California State University Long Beach College of Business Administration, and Joana Gaia, PhD, a clinical assistant professor of management science and systems at the University at Buffalo (N.Y.) School of Management — conducted a survey of 1,600-plus participants to investigate their interest in electronically sharing their medical records.

The researchers determined privacy concerns held the most influence over whether patients intended to electronically share medical with their providers. Additional predictors of an individual's intention to share information included patient activation, issue involvement and patient-physician relationship.

To address privacy concerns, study co-author G. Lawrence Sanders, PhD, a professor and chair of the management science and systems department in the UB School of Management, suggested healthcare providers educate patients about their organization's existing security measures.

"When a patient decides not to share their records electronically, it can result in increased costs, medical errors and undesired health outcomes," he said. "Healthcare providers should make it a priority to let them know about all the policies and security measures in place to protect them."

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