Most Americans Want to Share and Access More Digital Health Data

A national survey conducted in 2020 by Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research Associates in conjunction with The Pew Charitable Trusts shows:

  • Eighty-one percent of adults support increased access to health information for patients and providers.
  • More than two-thirds of adults want their clinicians to exchange some health information that federal data-sharing polices don’t currently require, such as advanced care plans or end-of-life preferences, images (such as X-rays), and family medical histories.
  • Most Americans want their data to be both more accessible and better protected. For example, although most respondents want to use apps on smartphones, tablets, and computers to access their health information, those who expressed serious privacy concerns nearly doubled—from 35% to 62%—when they were told that federal privacy protections do not cover data stored on apps. Many said that extending these laws could help alleviate their apprehension.
  • Across political party lines, most adults—82% of Democrats, 66% of independents, and 51% of Republicans—support additional federal measures to improve the accurate exchange of records between health care providers.
  • About 4 in 10 survey respondents said the coronavirus pandemic made them more likely to support efforts that enable data-sharing among a patient’s providers and let people download their personal data from EHRs to apps on smartphones and other devices.
  • By a roughly 2-to-1 margin, respondents were comfortable with their health providers scanning patient fingerprints or assigning individuals a unique number or code to ensure that different EHR systems correctly match records for the same person, a long-standing challenge of data exchange.

Read more about increased support for patient access to EHR systems here.

Public Opinion Strategies