C49. Wallis, K. & Rice, R. E. (2006). Technology and health information privacy: Consumers and the adoption of digital medical records technology. In M. Murero & R.E. Rice (Eds). The Internet and health care: Theory, research and practice (pp. 279-312). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.


New technologies offering improvements to consumers’ daily lives are subject to scrutiny regarding the technologies’ ability to maintain information security and privacy, important values among today’s consumers. Medical information systems that combine digital technology with the highly personal and sensitive information contained in medical records, are increasingly examined as to their ability to achieve their stated medical function, while maintaining a level of privacy consistent with the government’s medical privacy legislation. The Santa Barbara County Care Data Exchange (SBCCDE), a major regional health infrastructure project is in the process of implementing digital medical records technology in Santa Barbara County, California, and is subsequently subject to evaluation by its consumers, composed of the general public and medical community. In preparing for the diffusion of digital medical records technology, it is appropriate to investigate those consumer perceptions and concerns that might determine the success or failure of the new system. Therefore, this research investigates, through stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and a survey, consumer concerns, knowledge, and level of awareness regarding several facets of individual medical records technology and privacy.

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