Majority of patients skeptical of health IT benefits

Feb. 28, 2017
A new nationwide survey of healthcare consumers has found that 57% of those who had contact with hospital, physician, or an ancillary provider’s technology in 2016 report being skeptical of the overall benefits of the technology, which includes patient portals, mobile apps, and electronic health records.

The Black Book Research poll, conducted from September through December 2016, asked 12,090 adult consumers to evaluate the technology they were exposed to, know of, or interacted with as an active patient in the last 12 months.

Overall, Black Book attributes a fear of breaches, data hacking, and a perceived lack of privacy protection by providers for the negative perceptions of the majority of respondents.

As the amount of available health data increases, so does the hesitancy for consumers to share that information. This trend toward info hoarding comes just at a time when information gathering is getting more automated and digitalized in healthcare settings, and big-data analysis is on the brink of making positive inroads into the population health and personalized medicine spaces. In fact, the number of respondents who say they are more unwilling to divulge all their medical information rose to 87% in Q4 2016. Especially alarming to respondents is the concern that their pharmacy prescriptions (90%), mental health notes (99%), and chronic condition (81%) data is being shared beyond their chosen provider and payer to retailers, employers, and/or the government without their knowledge.

And a pill that may be particularly hard to swallow for clinicians and health IT workers alike is that 69% of patients say their current primary care physician does not demonstrate enough technology prowess for them to trust divulging all their personal information.

In a bit of good news, survey respondents indicate that the more technology the physician is perceived as using to manage their healthcare, the higher the trust level they have in their provider. 84% of patients said their trust in their provider is influenced by how the provider uses the technology. Only 5% of consumers had any issue in trusting the actual technology on its own.

Read more results from this study, including physician perceptions of information sharing and technology use, at

Source: Black Book Research LLC