Skip to content Skip to navigation

Ability to access online medical records trumps privacy concerns

May 7, 2014
by Richard R. Rogoski
| Reprints

A recent survey conducted by Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, found that 69 percent of Americans with chronic health conditions believe they should have the right to access all of their healthcare information, while half believe accessing their records online outweighs privacy risks.

According to a press release announcing the survey results, 2,011 individuals were surveyed including 918 who were healthy and 1,093 with chronic conditions such as asthma, arthritis, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), depression, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, clinically diagnosed obesity, osteoporosis or stroke.

Interestingly, those with chronic conditions were slightly less concerned about the privacy of their electronic medical record (65 percent) than they were about other personal information stored digitally, such as online banking (70 percent), in-store credit card use (69 percent) and online shopping (68 percent). 

And while 87 percent of respondents said that want control over their health data, 55 percent believe they have little or no control over this data.

In addition, of those with chronic conditions, 55 percent said the biggest barrier to accessing their medical records is not knowing how to do so.

“Healthcare will need to adapt to a new generation of individuals who are taking a more proactive role in managing their health and expect to have transparency,” said Kaveh Safavi MD, JD, who leads Accenture’s global health business. “As consumers continue to demand more access to their personal data online, we expect that patients will gain more power to manage some aspects of their own care. This will not only make healthcare more effective but also more affordable, as consumers doing more for themselves will free up the system to be more productive.”