Healthcare News & Insights

80% of patients worried about EHR security

Healthcare facilities making the move to electronic health records (EHRs) may face one big challenge: reassuring patients their medical information is safe.

Right now, the majority of Americans aren’t convinced EHR systems are secure, according to a recent survey by IT security firm SailPoint. More than 80% of patients said they’re worried about the security risks of having their medical information stored electronically.

Specifically, the 2,100 respondents are most worried about:

  1. Identity theft
  2. Having personal information exposed on the Internet
  3. Having medical data viewed by someone not involved in their care, and
  4. The possibility of an employer learning about a personal health condition.

EHRs bring patients a lot of benefits, including better, more efficient care from their doctors. But those gains may be outweighed by a decrease in satisfaction caused by security worries.

That’s why healthcare facilities must communicate with patients about the benefits of EHRs in order to increase patient satisfaction with the system.

By telling patients how electronic records will improve their quality of care, as well as explaining what precautions and procedures are in place to protect their personal information, doctors and administrators can help get patients on board for the transition to EHRs.

Facilities must also properly train doctors on how to use the EHR system, so that the benefits for patients are fully realized. Even something as simple as arranging workstations so doctors can face patients while they access the system on a computer can have an impact on patients’ comfort levels.

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