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Healthc Inform Res > Volume 15(3); 2009 > Article
Journal of Korean Society of Medical Informatics 2009;15(3):285-292.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4258/jksmi.2009.15.3.285    Published online September 30, 2009.
An Awareness Survey on the Protection and Use of Personal Health Information Focused on Applicants for Copies of the Medical Record
Eun mi Choi1, Sun won Seo2, Woo sung Park3, Mee Jeong Lee3, Yea eun Kim2, Ok nam Kim4
1Department of Healthcare Management, Kwandong University, Korea.
2Department of Medical Information, Dankook University Hospital, Korea.
3Department of Pediatrics, Dankook University College of Medicine, Korea.
4Department of Prevention Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Korea.
Correspondence:  Eun mi Choi,
Received: 2 July 2009

Objective: To supplement a previous study on the management of medical records with a view to preparing a system capable of ensuring basic patient rights regarding the protection of confidential medical information. The study objectives
are to provide detailed guidelines to regulate the access and protection of medical information by analyzing patients' understanding and views regarding the dissemination of medical records.

Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was administered to 781 patients who visited five University hospitals located in Seoul, Busan, Gyeonggi, Chungnam and Jeonnam from July to September, 2008 and asked for copies of medical records to be issued. Data were analyzed by using the statistical program SPSS 13.0.

Results: More than 70% of respondents wanted to access their medical records after confirming the required documents. The highest distribution in the range of persons able to receive copies of medical records without the individual patient's consent or required documents was 'only personally' in each variable. Copies of medical records were issued mostly within 1 hour, while the appropriate time of issuing the copies was within one day. Half of respondents approved of a subscription system that did not require a doctor consultation. The results regarding changes in the ways to request/issue copies of medical records to improve the convenience for applicants differed significantly according to age.

Conclusion: Considering the sensitivity of personal health information, medical records should only be issued with the patient's consent and by confirming the identity of the designated person with required documents. Furthermore, people should be aware of the importance of protecting personal health information, and medical institutes should inform the requirements for bringing the relevant documents. Medical institutes play an important role in protecting personal records, which necessitates generalized guidelines.

Key Words: Personal Health Information, Medical Records, Consent, Required Documents


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