Majority of U.S. Adults Concerned Online Healthcare Records Are Vulnerable

In observance of National Health Information Technology (NHIT) Week and to mark the important role health information technology plays in U.S. healthcare delivery, University of Phoenix® College of Health Professions School of Health Services Administration announced survey findings outlining the comfort level of U.S. adults when sharing their health data. As Americans spend more time on the internet in their personal and professional lives, they are slowly becoming more comfortable with the use of new technologies to manage healthcare records—but many still have concerns about this information’s vulnerability to hackers.

According to the press release announcing the news, the survey shows that nearly three out of four (72%) U.S. adults agree with the statement, “I am concerned that my online healthcare records are vulnerable to hackers.” At the same time, 59% of Americans said they are comfortable with healthcare records being transmitted across networks, even across country borders.

These numbers have shifted slightly since a similar 2015 University of Phoenix survey, which found that 76% of U.S. adults were concerned that their healthcare records were vulnerable to hackers and 55% were comfortable with records being transmitted over networks.

The trend toward a more accepting view of technology being used for healthcare data may have something to do with Americans’ use of the internet. According to the 2016 survey, 50% of adults say they spend 20 hours a week or more on the internet, and 26% say they spend 10-19 hours a week online.

“As Americans become more trusting of the technology being used to manage their personal health information, the industry has an obligation to preserve that trust by investing and developing new technologies, protocols and systems that can provide them with the security they deserve,” said Dr. Mark Johannsson, academic dean for University of Phoenix School of Health Services Administration.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix from Sept. 14-16, 2016, among 2,069 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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