Study: U.S. Patients Need More Control Over EHRs for Healthcare to Gain Their Benefits

U.S. patients have less control over the sharing of their electronic health records compared to European patients, according to a study (pdf) in the Journal of Science & Technology Law.

U.S. patients' limited control and choice in regard to EHRs may have implications for the success of EHR implementation in the U.S. healthcare system, the authors suggest. For example, while EU patients always have the right to prohibit transfer of health information in an electronic system, in the U.S. there are several circumstances in which organizations can transfer patients' information without their consent or authorization, according to the study.  

The authors said EHRs' ability to achieve cost savings and improved population health depends in part on patients' acceptance and willingness to transmit their information electronically. If patients have limited control in how this information is transmitted, they may trust EHRs less, preventing its widespread adoption and accompanying benefits.

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