Ponemon Institute published their study today surveying American opinions on privacy of their health information. Findings include:
71% of Americans trust their providers with their medical information much more than they trust payers (43%), state and local government (31%), private information technology companies (27%) or the federal government (27%).
Americans consider the privacy of their healthcare information important, with 75% wanting providers to ensure the privacy of their health care information.
Features considered more important by patients included biometric or key security (59%), ability to change the health record (53%), access authorization (52%) and access over the Internet (50%).
Andy Greenberg (Forbes) concludes that "the biggest controversy over electronic health records may be aimed at tech companies' projects such as Microsoft's HealthVault or Google Health, both of which are designed to act as online interfaces to a Web user's medical information. Asked to rate the sensitivity of various types of personal information, users rated health records as far more sensitive than other information they typically share with Web companies. On a scale from one to seven, medical data received an average rating of 6.64, while credit card information received only a 4.27 and online search records just a 1.86."
The survey introduced bias by telling repondents that the the U.S. government is considering implementing a national database for the management of health records - - a representation that is misleading at best. The study, ostensibly sponsored by the Crowe Horwath accounting firm, doesn't indicate who might be behind Crowe Horwath's interest in this topic.