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Infoway - Canadians' support for electronic health records increases to 88 per cent, poll finds

Posted Oct 30 2008 3:21pm

A survey conducted by EKOS Research Associates including interviews with 2,469 Canadians in June and July 2007 and published today by Canada Health Infoway has found that there is increasing support for EMRs/EHRs, however there is significant concern regarding privacy and the need to protect sensitive information. A striking finding (to me) is the desire by 55% of Canadians to want to mask or hide certain information in their Electronic Health Record. Given this number, developers of EMR systems and policy/legislative bodies will need to ensure that masking capability exists within large EHR systems or they will risk the Canadian public losing confidence in the system.

"It is clear Canadians want the protection of their privacy to be a key factor as we consider both how these highly sensitive records are managed, as well as potential secondary uses for this information including health research," said Jennifer Stoddart, Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

  • Canadians want to ensure that privacy and security safeguards are in place to protect their health information. 77 per cent would like audit trails that document access to their health information. 74 per cent want strong penalties for unauthorized access.
  • 66 per cent of Canadians want clear privacy policies to protect their health information.
  • In the event of a security breach, 7 in 10 want to be informed and would like procedures in place to respond to such breaches.
  • Those who have had experience with an electronic health record showed an even stronger support for privacy and security safeguards.
  • A majority of Canadians (55 per cent) would like to be able to hide or mask sensitive information contained in their record.
  • While the poll shows strong support (84 per cent) for using anonymous information from electronic records for health research, this support drops dramatically if personal details are not removed from the record (50 per cent)

To read the full article, go to: Infoway - Canadians' support for electronic health records increases to 88 per cent, poll finds.

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