Patients whose doctors kept records in an electronic format were more likely to withhold medical history and information from their health care provider than patients whose doctors kept paper records, according to new research by a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor.
Assistant sociology professor Celeste Campos-Castillo’s findings, which were recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, suggests that patients could be worried about the privacy and security of their medical information if their doctors stored that information in electronic files. The correlation takes into account patients’ satisfaction with their health care providers and other factors that could impact patients’ perception of their doctors.
Thankfully, this hasn’t come up for me yet, but it is something I’ve thought about. The proliferation of EMR coupled with the possibility of a security failure and a government that doesn’t respect citizens’ privacy makes me very reluctant to share anything that might be used against me. Obviously, if I have a physical ailment or disease, there isn’t much I can do about it. But if I were worried about something like depression or suicidal thoughts – even if it was just a passing concern – I wouldn’t share it with a doctor. I wouldn’t want that information being stolen and leaked onto a lefty blog. Nor would I want the DOJ or FBI knowing. There are some real benefits to EMR with the quick and portable access to a patient’s records, but there are drawbacks too.