ONC to Survey Opinions on Privacy & Security of Electronic Health Information Exchanges

On March 24, 2010, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) posted a 30-day notice to solicit comments under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 regarding its estimate of the burden to conduct a survey about public attitudes towards an electronic health information exchange and the associated privacy and security aspects.  The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) would conduct the nationwide survey using computer assisted telephone interviews to interview a representative sample of the U.S. population. An estimated 25,415 households would be contacted out of which HHS estimates that 2,570 households will respond. The data collection, to take place over the course of eight weeks, would solicit information “about individuals’ attitudes toward electronic health information exchange and the extent to which they are interested in determining by whom and how their health information is exchanged.”  HHS says, “The proposed information collection will permit us to better understand individuals’ attitudes toward electronic health information exchange and its associated privacy and security aspects as well as inform policy and programmatic objectives.”

Before the publication of the final report, ONC will host a Web seminar to convey findings to the general public. A final report will be posted on http://healthit.hhs.gov and will include the results and analysis of the survey.