Worry persists over safety of patient info in EHRs

While most people responding to a recent survey by media company Morning Consult said they expect hospitals to use electronic health records, only about half believe that those records would be "safe."

For the poll, Morning Consult surveyed 3,687 likely voters in March and May. Overall more than four-fifths (83 percent) of respondents said they expect hospitals to use EHRs.

However, only 53 percent of respondents thought that the information in the EHRs would be safe; 39 percent said they were "worried."

More educated people were more likely to trust that the records would be safe; 50 percent of those without a college degree thought that the records would be safe, compared to 57 percent of those with bachelor's degrees and 61 percent of those with post-graduate education. Only 41 percent of the uninsured believed that their records would be safe. 

Additionally, older people worried more about EHR security than younger people.

Sixty percent of respondents said that they would use an app that stored their medical records and history.

The poll did not address whether respondents expected their physicians to use EHRs or why there were disparities among different types of respondents. Other studies have shown that senior citizens are less likely to embrace EHRs and use patient portals. What's more, people who are more tech-savvy and "open minded" were more likely to see EHRs in a positive light.

The poll also didn't query whether those who said they would use an app already have access to an app or patient portal and if they took advantage of it. Only one-third of veterans are taking advantage of "Blue Button" capabilities to access the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' personal health record portal, My HealtheVet, to access their electronic records.

To learn more:
- here's the summary memo
- check out the topline results

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