Electronic Medical Record Access Outweighs Privacy Concerns for Chronic Patients in Norway

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1 Insight Driven Health Electronic Medical Record Access Outweighs Privacy Concerns for Chronic Patients in Norway Accenture research shows persons with chronic conditions in Norway are more concerned about the privacy of their online shopping transactions and social media interactions than information contained in electronic medical records. The rising proportion of persons with chronic conditions remains an area of growing concern in Norway. However, Accenture s findings show that these individuals are more actively engaged in managing their health at most stages of care than their healthy counterparts. More than half (55 percent) of persons with chronic conditions surveyed in Norway believe the benefits of access to medical information through electronic medical records (EMR) outweigh the risk of privacy invasion. This is according to the Accenture 2014 Patient Engagement Survey of more than 800 Norwegians. EMR: is it a right or a privilege? The Accenture 2014 Patient Engagement Survey revealed that Norwegians with chronic conditions believe it is their right to access their health records. In particular, some 69 percent of the persons surveyed say having access to health data is a right and they want to access all of their information. The survey findings also showed that these persons with chronic conditions want control, but feel they don t have it. More than threefourths (78 percent) believe it is somewhat or very important to have control over their health information, yet close to two-thirds (63 percent) believe they do not have very much control or any control at all. See Figure 1. Figure 1. A majority of persons with chronic conditions believe it is important to have control over their health information, yet patients feel they don t have complete control. Complete control Some Control No control at all 30% 11% 26% 33% Source: Accenture 2014 Patient Engagement Survey Not very much control Q: How much control do you currently have over your health information? By control we mean that you could have access to your medical records and could use these records to make decisions about your personal care if you wanted to. Total respondents (N) = 806 (300 chronic, 506 healthy) 1

2 Patients were asked, How much control do you currently have over your health information? By control, we mean that you have access to your medical records and could use these records to make decisions about your personal care if you wanted to. In reply, 62 percent of those who have suffered a stroke said they have complete or some control versus 26 percent of those with obesity said they have the same level of control. Privacy concerns are lower for accessing EMR than for online shopping or social media Figure 2. Concern about privacy invasion in ranking order of percentage of persons with chronic conditions who are concerned. 64% - Social media websites (facebook and twitter) 55% - Online shopping 48% - Electronic Medical records 47% - Using a credit card in store Survey respondents with chronic conditions are less concerned about EMR data privacy than they are about data privacy in a number of other industries. Overall, respondents with chronic conditions said they are somewhat or very concerned about privacy invasion with EMR (48 percent), social media websites (64 percent), online shopping (55 percent) and credit card use in stores (47 percent). See Figure 2. 45% - Online Banking 34% - Filing taxes online Source: Accenture 2014 Patient Engagement Survey 70% Interestingly, the level of concern about privacy among respondents with chronic conditions is significantly lower in comparison to the global average of 60 percent, and is comparable only with that of Japan (43 percent) and Italy (45 percent) among the countries surveyed. It is also evident from the survey that the level of EMR-related privacy concern is similar to or lower than other common day-to-day activities. Still, only a third of persons with chronic conditions (34 percent) surveyed in Norway uses EMRs to manage their health. Q: How concerned are you about your personal privacy in each of the following areas? (Percentage reflects those who chose Somewhat and Very concerned) Total respondents (N) = 806 (300 chronic, 506 healthy) Moreover, the level of concern over EMR data privacy varies by chronic condition. Those with osteoporosis showed the highest level of concern, with 67 percent identifying themselves as very or somewhat concerned, while those with high blood pressure showed the lowest level of concern, with only 43 percent very or somewhat concerned. See Figure 3. 2

3 Figure 3. Very or somewhat concerned about EMR personal privacy ranked by chronic condition. Osteoporosis Cancer COPD Obesity Heart diseases Depression 67% 62% 60% 58% 52% 52% 50% 47% 47% 45% 43% Source: Accenture 2014 Patient Engagement Survey Q: Electronic medical records: how concerned are you about your personal privacy in each of the following areas? (Percentage reflects those who chose Somewhat and Very concerned) Ranked by chronic condition concerned about EMR personal privacy Total respondents (N) = 806 (300 chronic, 506 healthy)*note: Sample sizes (n) for persons with the above chronic conditions are small and may not be representative of the entire population Stroke Diabetes Arthritis Asthma High Blood Pressure Those with chronic conditions may be more active in some ways Chronic patients access their EMRs more than healthy individuals, according to the Accenture 2014 Patient Engagement Survey. When asked, Have you ever accessed your electronic medical records? some 19 percent of those with chronic conditions surveyed said they have accessed their EMR, versus just 10 percent of healthy respondents. 79% Figure 4: Survey result to show that those with chronic conditions may be more active in some ways 71% 82% 76% 86% 73% 78% 71% The survey revealed that significantly more chronically ill individuals than healthy persons are active in managing their health at various stages of patient care. See Figure 4 At the time of medical diagnosis Once they have been diagnosed Managing treatment prescribed for diagnosis Day-to-day in managing general health Chronically ill individuals Healthy person 3

4 Why persons with chronic conditions aren t accessing their EMRs The Accenture 2014 Patient Engagement Survey indicates that not knowing how to access medical records was the primary reason why people had not done so. More than half (62 percent) of the chronic patients surveyed cited this as the top reason. Interestingly, 18 percent of persons with chronic conditions surveyed said, I trust that my medical records are accurate, so I don t need to access them. A surprising 27 percent of those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease cited this as a reason for not accessing their EMRs. See Figure 5 Significantly more chronic (19%) than healthy patients (10%) are accessing their EMRs, but a majority of both say they do not know what information they have access to. The research findings confirm that a large majority of consumers in Norway particularly the chronically ill want to access their EMRs and control their medical and health information. However, few consumers currently enjoy at least some level of access and control over their medical information electronically. It is thus clear that healthcare providers will need to adapt to the information needs of today s consumers who are taking a more proactive role in managing their health and expecting greater transparency. As consumers demand increasing access to their personal data online, it is imperative they learn how best to access and use this data to improve their overall health and wellbeing. Enabling patients to manage some aspects of their own care will not only make healthcare more effective but also more affordable, as consumers doing more for themselves will free up the system to be more productive. When patients are part of the record-keeping process, it can increase their understanding of conditions, improve motivation and serve as a clear differentiator for clinical care. Figure 5: Survey to highlight top two reasons why consumers with chronic conditions are not accessing their EMRs. 18% I trust that my medical records are accurate, so I don t need to access them 62% I dont know how to access my medical records 4

5 Methodology Accenture conducted a survey of 10,730 individuals in 10 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States. The survey included chronically ill consumers (defined as those who self-reported they have been diagnosed with any of the following conditions: asthma, arthritis, cancer, COPD or related respiratory condition, depression, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, clinically diagnosed obesity, osteoporosis, stroke) and healthy consumers (defined as those not suffering from any of the chronic illnesses listed previously). The survey was conducted between February 18 and March 16, 2014 by Penn Schoen Berland (PSB). About Accenture Insight Driven Health Insight driven health is the foundation of more effective, efficient and affordable healthcare. That s why the world s leading healthcare providers and health plans choose Accenture for a wide range of insight driven health services that help them use knowledge in new ways from the back office to the doctor s office. Our committed professionals combine real-world experience, business and clinical insights and innovative technologies to deliver the power of insight driven health. For more information, visit: www. accenture.com/insightdrivenhealth. About Accenture Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 305,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, Its home page is For more information, please contact: Geir Prestegård Managing Director, Accenture Norway Health Industry Thomas Smedsrud Senior Manager, Accenture Health & Public Service Francis D Silva Senior Principal Accenture Digital Copyright 2014 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. 5

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