Do EMR benefits outweigh risk of privacy invasion?

According to an Accenture survey, consumers with chronic conditions are more concerned about the privacy of shopping and banking transactions than EMR.

The Accenture 2014 Patient Engagement Survey of more than 2,000 United States consumers revealed that more than half (51 percent) of 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. Overall, consumers with chronic conditions surveyed said they are “somewhat” or “very” concerned about privacy invasion with EMR (65 percent), online banking (70 percent), online shopping (68 percent) and credit card use in stores (69 percent).

Consumers with chronic conditions believe it is their right to access their EMR. Particularly, 69 percent say having access to health data is a right and they want to access all of their information. Interestingly, when asked, “Have you ever accessed your electronic medical records?” 30 percent of people with chronic conditions said they have accessed their EMR versus 24 percent of healthy respondents. According to the Accenture 2014 Patient Engagement Survey, “I don’t know how to access my medical records” was the primary reason that people had not accessed their medical record. Roughly half of consumers with chronic conditions cited this as the top reason.

The survey findings also showed that consumers with chronic conditions want control, but say they don’t have it. Eighty-seven percent believe it is “somewhat” or “very” important to have control over their health information, yet more than half (55 percent) believe they do not have very much control—or any control at all. The survey findings are opportune as, at the same time, healthcare providers are striving to achieve Meaningful Use Stage 2, where providing access to medical information is a core measure.

Explore the research findings and learn how consumers with chronic conditions want to access and control their EMR data.

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