The Wall Street Journal reports on a survey from the California HealthCare Foundation that shows patients fear privacy problems with electronic health (e-health) records. There has been considerable controversy over the privacy questions connected to digital medical records. In February, the Health and Human Services Department named Joy Pritts as chief privacy officer for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
A study on electronic medical records use by the California HealthCare Foundation, a philanthropic group, found that 15% of the 1,849 adults surveyed said they’d conceal information from a physician if “the doctor had an electronic medical record system” that could share that info with other groups. Another 33% would “consider hiding information.”
Privacy concerns still hover around EMRs, with 68% of survey respondents reporting some degree of worry about what happens to their personal information once it’s stored in a doctor’s computer. EMR use by consumers is rising, though, with 7% of Americans reporting having used one, compared with 2.7% in a 2008 survey conducted by another organization. (Those that did use EMRs said they were helpful, and a significant number of them said the electronic records prompted them to ask questions about or take steps towards improving their health.)