The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is launching a five-year initiative to gather public opinions about the privacy and security of electronic health records and health information exchanges, according to a notice published Thursday in the Federal Register, Modern Healthcare reports.
ONC plans to interview 100 people as a pretest of the survey. The office then will interview about 2,000 people annually during the five years of the initiative.
The survey aims to determine:
- How many individuals are concerned about the privacy and security of EHRs;
- Whether patients withhold medical information from their health care providers because of privacy concerns; and
- Whether patients worry that unauthorized personnel will see their medical information if it is exchanged electronically (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 11/2).
In related news, ONC is organizing a two-year campaign to educate the public about the privacy and security of electronically exchanged health data.
As the first step in the campaign, the office plans to collect information from more than 40,000 consumers and health care providers through focus groups, interviews and surveys, according to a notice published Tuesday in the Federal Register (Goedert, Health Data Management, 10/31).
Officials plan to use the collected information to guide the development of materials, messages and websites for the educational campaign (Federal Register notice, 11/1).