Patient perception of health record privacy, security: 6 findings

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New ONC research found that a majority of Americans have some reservations about sharing health information among providers.

The results, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, were gleaned from a nationally representative survey of nearly 4,000 adults conducted from 2011 to 2012 by the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers concluded that although most adults report being confident in the privacy and security of their medical records, some expressed concern regarding how the information is shared between providers. For some, these reservations were great enough that they withheld information from providers. However, whether or not the provider used an EHR did not impact privacy concerns or security perceptions.

Here are six key findings from the study.

• Approximately one-quarter of American adults indicated they were very confident, and approximately half indicated they were somewhat confident in the privacy of their medical records. The results were similar regarding adults' confidence in the security of medical records.
• In all, more than 12 percent of participants withheld information from a healthcare provider.
• More than 59 percent expressed concerns about the security of both faxed and electronic health information.
• Adults who reported higher quality of care had significantly greater confidence in the privacy and security of their medical records and were less likely to withhold information from their healthcare provider due to privacy or security concerns.
• Adults with higher information efficacy had significantly greater confidence in the privacy and security of medical records and less concern about sharing of health information by both fax and electronic means.
• Individuals' perceptions of whether their providers use an EHR was not associated with any specific privacy or security outcomes.

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