Here are four key survey findings:
Patients continue to see the benefits of online access. Seventy percent of patient respondents say they’ve become more knowledgeable about their personal medical information thanks to online resources, and 50% noticed an increased overall engagement with personal healthcare, according to the study.
There’s power in patient portals. Ninety eight percent of patient respondents say that they can access a patient portal, and 81% of providers who say they have improved their engagement with patients credit the availability of patient portals, according to the survey. “In fact, over the last year, patient portals have surpassed web-based access to healthcare information as the number one method of encouraging engagement for both patients and providers,” Ragont says.
Mobility is key. Patients are increasingly comfortable with mobile access to their healthcare information. Eighty three percent of patient respondents say they would be comfortable communicating via mobile apps, and 77% say they would comfortable texting with their healthcare provider, according to the study. However, only 34% are comfortable communicating via social media.
There’s room for improvement. Just 29% of patient respondents say they would give their healthcare providers an “A” for their use of technology to interact with and engage patients, and 89% of patients would like to be able to more easily access their personal healthcare records, according to the study.
Despite these trends, Ragont was surprised to see that telemedicine has not yet gained traction in the same way as patient portals or mobile apps. Just 30% of patient respondents say that telemedicine would be somewhat or very valuable in allowing them to become more engaged in their healthcare, and just 9% of provider respondents say they are “very comfortable” with the idea of telemedicine (compared to 20% of patients).
Providers say they are primarily concerned with their ability to have a thorough consultation over video (70%), privacy issues (43%) and a lack of patient familiarity with technology (35%). Patients face similar concerns, with 58% concerned about their doctor’s ability to have a consultation over video, 38% concerned about personal comfort, and 36% concerned about privacy issues.