Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Benefits Outweigh Privacy Invasion Risk for Chronically Ill

Accenture’s research shows consumers with chronic conditions are more concerned about the privacy of shopping and banking transactions than healthcare information.

More than half (51 percent) of U.S. consumers with chronic conditions believe the benefits of being able to access medical information through electronic medical records (EMR) outweigh the perceived risk of privacy invasion, according to the Accenture 2014 Patient Engagement Survey of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers.

Interestingly, the differences among consumers with chronic conditions are notable. The highest percentage of individuals believing the benefits of EMR outweigh the privacy risk was among those with cancer (57 percent), while asthma and arthritis sufferers show the lowest percentage (48 percent, respectively).

EMR: is it a right, or a privilege?

The Accenture 2014 Patient Engagement Survey revealed that consumers with chronic conditions believe it is their right to access their EMR. Particularly, 69 percent say having access to health data is a human right and they want to access all of their information.

The survey findings also showed that these consumers with chronic conditions want control, but feel they don’t have it. Eighty-seven percent believe it is “somewhat” or “very” important to have control over their health information, roughly half believe they do not have very much control—or any control at all.

Interestingly, when asked, “How much control do you currently have over your health information? By control, we mean that you have access to your medical records and could use these records to make decisions about your personal care if you wanted to,” 65 percent of those with heart disease said they have “complete” or “some” control versus 49 percent of those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) said they have the same level of control.

This information is timely as providers are striving to achieve Meaningful Use Stage 2, where providing access to medical information is a core measure. Specifically, the objective of Measure 7 is to “Provide patients the ability to view online, download and transmit their health information within four business days of the information being available to the eligible professional.”1

Privacy concerns are similar, whether accessing EMR or shopping online



Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President of Ortho Spine Partners and Partner for The De Angelis Group. He also serves as Co-Founder and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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