The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is proposing to conduct a nationwide survey regarding consumer attitudes toward the privacy and security aspects of electronic health records (EHR) and electronic health information exchange, according to a notice in last Thursday’s Federal Register.

ONC’s plan is to use computer-assisted telephone interviews to interview a representative sample of the general population annually for five years.  The survey will focus on the percentage of individuals who are concerned about the privacy and security of EHR, who have opted to withhold medical information from their doctor due to privacy concerns, and who are concerned that an unauthorized person will see their medical information if it is sent electronically, among other things.  ONC will analyze whether these numbers change over the course of the study from 2012 to 2016.

According to ONC, the purpose of the study is to “better understand individuals’ attitudes toward the privacy and security aspects of the use of [EHR] and electronic health information exchange as well as inform policy and programmatic objectives.”