According to a survey from SafeNet, Inc., only half of U.S. adults (52 percent) are concerned with the safety of their personal data within their medical records.

Medical records security ranked fourth when compared to personal identification such as social security numbers (83 percent), banking data (83 percent) and general contact information (56 percent).

Americans polled were more concerned with security of personal contact information, such as a phone numbers or addresses being exposed. Most medical records include this basic contact information, Social Security numbers and personal medical data.  Therefore, whenever medical records are breached, this data could be accessed and misused.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for SafeNet in November 2010, also found Americans are more concerned about the unauthorized release of their medical records due to internal negligence (49 percent) than someone hacking into the systems where their records are stored (41 percent). Fourteen percent of Americans surveyed have no concerns at all about the security of their medical records. 

Other findings include:

  • 42 percent of Americans are unsure how their medical records are stored;
  • 11 percent do not know who has access to their medical records;
  • More than a third of Americans (38 percent) feel they are not at all familiar with medical data privacy regulations currently in place in the U.S.