Why consumers feel health data is vulnerable to hackers

Nearly half of Americans (44 percent) are worried about having their personal healthcare information stolen as a result of a breach of a healthcare provider’s information systems.

However, respondents to the survey believe that electronic records can be used in such a way to augment the security of their health information; some 76 percent of respondents to a survey of 3,000 U.S. adults believe it would be more secure to share healthcare information between providers through a secure electronic method instead of faxing paper documents.


The survey, conducted by the Harris Poll in January for the 2017 Xerox eHealth Survey, showed growing concern by consumers over how providers are protecting data. The report noted that, in 2016, more than one health data breach was reported each day.

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In addition to added security, Americans also believe better information sharing across providers can help improve patient care. Some 87 percent believe wait times to receive test results and diagnoses would decrease if providers were able to securely share and access digital patient information from various providers, and the same percentage of respondents say they believe that quality of service of healthcare providers would improve if there was better information sharing and coordination among different providers.

Also See: 10 lessons learned from 2016’s biggest data breaches

“It’s clear patients are frustrated by the lack of care coordination and disjointed processes, so much so, that our Xerox survey shows 19 percent of Americans would rather wait in line at the DMV than coordinate between different doctors’ offices to ensure they have all of their records and health information,” said Cees Van Doorn, senior vice president of healthcare for Xerox.

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