According to researchers at North Carolina State University, concern about privacy is what is really holding back EHR acceptance. Worry about making oneself vulnerable to identity theft is at the heart of this issue.

David Baumer, head of N.C. State’s business management department and author of a new study, concurs and validates this concern.  According to Baumer,” EHR acceptance is higher in the European Union, which has tougher privacy rules.”

“We are moving in the right direction in regard to putting better privacy protections in place, but we have a long way to go,” Baumer says. The paper will appear in an upcoming issue of the Boston University Journal of Science and Technology Law. Baumer along with co-authors from Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech call for civil penalties for “inappropriate” sharing of electronic health data. Only then will EHRs reach their potential to cut billions of dollars from the U.S. healthcare sector. (Hopefully)