A new survey by Accenture claims that more than half of people with chronic conditions say the ability to get their electronic medical records online outweighs the potential privacy risks.
Two-thirds, meanwhile, believe patients should have the right to access all of their healthcare information.
The results of the poll suggest a public increasingly frustrated by lack of ownership over their own health data.
The vast majority people surveyed (87%) say they want to control their health data. But 55% report they don't have very much or any control over their medical information.
Accenture polled 2,011 individuals – 918 of them healthy, and 1,093 with either asthma, arthritis, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, clinically diagnosed obesity, osteoporosis and stroke.
The survey found chronic patients to be less concerned about the privacy of their electronic health records, 65%, than they were about other personal information stored digitally, such as online banking (70%), in-store credit card use (69%) and online shopping (68%).
Still, although they're eager to have access to their records online, roughly half of those with chronic conditions said the top barrier to seeing the data was not knowing how to do so.
Accenture's findings also suggest, depending on the type of chronic illness they have, there are differences in a patient's ability to exercise control over his or her healthcare data. For example, 65 percent of consumers with heart disease reported having some level of control, compared to just 49 percent of individuals with COPD.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 47% of Americans have at least one chronic disease, but they account for 76% of all physician visits.
Nonetheless, these individuals are some of the most actively engaged patients at most stages of patient care, according to the poll – including:
- during medical diagnosis (91%);
- managing treatment (87%); and
- maintaining general health on a day-to-day basis (84%).
Access the Accenture report here.