Many Americans want electronic health records, and say they would access their personal health information online, but the majority are concerned about confidentiality issues, according to a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization.
Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said it is extremely or very important for providers to use electronic or computer-based health records instead of paper ones. Another 25% said it is somewhat important, while 7% said it is not too important and 9% said it is not important at all. Those results are statistically unchanged from when the question was asked in 2005.
And 60% said it is either extremely or very important for all their health information to be stored electronically in a central location so it can be shared by authorized providers.
But just 12% reported they are extremely or very confident that their records would remain confidential in an electronic format and shared through the Internet. Another 62% said they are not confident those records would remain private.
Still, 43% of those surveyed said that they would be extremely or very likely take advantage of the opportunity to access their health records and personal heath information online, if available. Another 22% said they would be somewhat likely to access their records online, while 21% were not at all likely to do so.
Questions about EHRs were part of the EBRIs 2008 Health Confidence Survey. The group conducted 21-minute telephone interviews with 1,000 adults nationwide ages 21 and older in May and June. -- by Rebecca Vesely
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