An Exploration of Trends in Patient Health Data Safety Concerns: Does Heterogeneity Matter?

Mukhopadhyay, Surma
Basak, Ramsankar
Reithel, Brian
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There have been ongoing discussions on threats to patients' electronic health information/records (EHR). This study aims to examine the 1) trend in electronic data safeguard concerns and 2) factors associated with such perceptions. Using the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) data from 2014, 2017, and 2018, the study analyzed 7527 patients (representing approximately, 175 million US adult subjects) for their perceptions on information safeguard and withholding information from providers due to privacy/security. About 24%, 24%, and 15% respondents reported not confident about data safeguard in 2014, 2017, and 2018, respectively. A large population is not firmly confident about data safety and many would withhold information. Although there is a significant trend in improvement of safeguard concerns, there is patient characteristics-related heterogeneity and there are communication quality effects on adverse outcomes of privacy/security concerns. The results will be useful for improving patient utilization of EHRs benefiting patients or healthcare systems.
IT Adoption, Diffusion and Evaluation in Healthcare, ehr, online medical records, privacy, safeguard, security
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