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Consumer Perceptions of Electronic Health Information Exchange

  • Jessica S. Ancker
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Jessica S. Ancker, MPH, PhD, 425 E. 61st St., Suite 301, New York NY 10065
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York

    Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York

    Health Information Technology Evaluation Collaborative (HITEC), New York, New York
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  • Alison M. Edwards
    Affiliations
    Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York

    Health Information Technology Evaluation Collaborative (HITEC), New York, New York
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  • Melissa C. Miller
    Affiliations
    Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York

    Health Information Technology Evaluation Collaborative (HITEC), New York, New York
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  • Rainu Kaushal
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York

    Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York

    Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York

    NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York

    Health Information Technology Evaluation Collaborative (HITEC), New York, New York
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      Background

      Public support will be critical to the success and long-term sustainability of electronic health information exchange (HIE) initiatives currently promoted by federal policy.

      Purpose

      The goal of this study was to assess consumer perceptions of HIE in a state (New York) with a 6-year history of successful HIE organizations.

      Methods

      The Empire State Poll is a random-digit-dial telephone survey of adult New York State residents conducted annually by the Survey Research Institute at Cornell University. In 2011, it contained 77 items.

      Results

      The survey was conducted and data were analyzed in 2011. Eight hundred respondents participated (71% response rate). Large majorities supported HIE among healthcare providers (69%); thought it would improve quality of care (68%); and supported “break the glass” access to HIE data without need for consent in emergencies (90%). Support was lower among people who rated large corporations as less trustworthy. Privacy and security concerns were expressed by 68%. Respondents were supportive whether the architecture involved a physician sending data to another physician, a physician sending data to a patient who could send it to other physicians, or a physician accessing data from other institutions.

      Conclusions

      In New York, public support for HIE is strong. Policy and outreach pertaining to this type of exchange may be most effective if it clarifies the roles and responsibilities of large businesses involved in different aspects of the exchange, and privacy and security controls. Differing architectures received similar levels of support.
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