Attitudes and opinions of people who use medical services about privacy and confidentiality of health information in electronic environment

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Graduate School of Informatics, Information Systems, Turkey

Approval Date: 2011


Supervisor: ALİ ARİFOĞLU


In health services, it is a necessity to keep the records of the patients. Although paper-based records are commonly used for this aim, they are not as convenient as computerized records. Therefore, many of the health facilities have recently started keeping patients’ health records in electronic databases. However, new questions about confidentiality and privacy of these records were raised with this new system.This study aims to investigate the opinions and attitudes of the people who use the health services of Turkey about the privacy and confidentiality of health information in electronic environment. In the survey, there are 596 participants from 64 different cities in six geographical regions of Turkey. The findings show that people feel comfortable about computer usage in health-care but they are concerned about the privacy and confidentiality of their information and also they are not sure if their medical information is safe and secure now. Moreover, they are mostly unaware about current regulations related to information privacy in Turkey. The study also shows that people trust in their doctors, health researchers in universities, pharmacist, nurses and other hospital staff but do not trust in insurance companies, government, private sector health researchers, information technology specialists and government health researchers for the privacy of their medical records.