Electronic health records (EHRs) constitute a significant technological advance in the way medical information is stored, communicated, and processed by the multiple parties involved in the delivery of health care. However, there is widespread concern that privacy issues may impede the diffusion of this technology. In this study, we integrate the Concern for Information Privacy (CFIP) construct with the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) to examine attitude persuasion regarding the use of EHRs when concerns about privacy of information are present in patients. We draw from attitude and attitude persuasion literatures to develop hypotheses that individuals can be persuaded to support the use of EHRs, even in the presence of significant privacy concerns, if appropriate messages about the value of EHRs are imparted to the recipient. Using an experimental methodology, we randomly assign two different types of respondents (high and low involvement) to two different treatments (strong and weak argument quality) and assess the impact of CFIP on the relationship between these variables and attitude change. We find that an individual’s CFIP interacts with argument quality and issue involvement to affect attitudes toward the use of EHRs. The research reported here makes four main contributions. From a theoretical perspective it extends the ELM to include a key construct affecting persuasion which has not been examined in prior literature – that being CFIP. Second, it focuses on EHRs which are a new and emerging technology that have the potential to radically alter the way health care is managed by consumers and providers. Third, findings from this study hold important pragmatic value for driving public policy decisions related to public perceptions and attitudes toward the use of EHRs, including but not limited to the crafting of national messages and education. Finally, while further testing is required, we believe that the moderating effect of CFIP may be useful in other contexts in which personal information is controlled or processed.
Angst, Corey and Agarwal, Ritu, "Digital Health Records and Privacy Concerns: OvercommingKey Barriers To Adoption" (2006). ICIS 2006 Proceedings. 82.