Benefits of accessing data outweigh privacy risks for chronically ill

Over half of UK patients with chronic health conditions want access to their medical records and believe the benefits outweigh privacy risks

Over half of UK patients with chronic health conditions want access to their medical records and 50% believe the benefits would outweigh the perceived risks to their privacy.

According to research of 1,000 UK citizens, half of whom had a chronic condition such as asthma, arthritis, cancer, depression, diabetes and heart disease, found that people are less concerned about the privacy of their medical records than their online banking, in-store credit card use and online shopping details.

A total of 55% of the respondents with chronic conditions said the biggest barrier to them accessing records is not knowing how to.

“Healthcare providers need to adapt as patients take a more proactive role in managing their own health,” said Aimie Chapple, Accenture’s UK health business head. 

“Consumers across all walks of life are demanding more access to their personal data online. Allowing patients to manage some aspects of their own health will make healthcare more effective and more affordable as clinicians’ time is freed up,” said Chapple.

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“The rising population of chronic patients remains an area of growing concern for the UK. [But our findings show] that these individuals are actively engaged at most stages of patient care, including during medical diagnosis (91%), managing treatment (91%) and maintaining general health on a day-to-day basis (84%).

A survey from Accenture last year revealed that English patients are willing to change doctors to access electronic medical records (EMRs), but just 16% of them currently have access.

The global research of 9,000 people found there is a major disagreement between what patients want and what doctors want. Over three-quarters (77%) of English patients think they should have full access to patient records, but only 34% of doctors agree.

A huge 97% of English patients and 94% of doctors agree that patients should have some degree of access, but 67% still have no access.



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