Consumer relationship management vendor Salesforce in January commissioned Harris Poll to conduct a survey assessing the degree to which patients and their physicians are electronically connected. Responses from 1,700 adults found serious inefficiencies in use of information technologies to better coordinate care between patients and physicians. A new report, "2015 State of the Connected Patient," shares the findings.
Clinical Data Exchange
The most surprising disconnect in the survey may be the degree to which respondents believe health information is exchanged among providers, with 76 percent confident that their doctors share records between each other.
Phone Reigns Supreme
Only 14 percent of responding patients use electronic means (Web, email or text) to set up appointments with their primary care physician. The phone remains the clear leader at 76 percent, followed by making the next appointment in person (25 percent). Some patients use more than one method.
Asked how they keep track of their health information, 62 percent rely on their doctor, 36 percent use Web tools (portal, email, text), 28 percent track via paper records and 9 percent believe that no one keeps track of health data. Some patients use more than one method.
Communicating with Doctors
Only 30 percent of patients get test results electronically. Thirteen percent pay their health bills electronically, 38 percent are electronic for appointment/prescription reminders, and 14 percent manage preventive care with their physician via electronic means.
Look Toward the Future
Millennials in the age of smartphones, those aged 18-34, express much stronger interest in using technology to improve patient-physician collaboration. About three-quarters of those surveyed consider online reviews from other patients, the ability to book online appointments and paying bills electronically important in choosing a physician.
Millennial Wish List
Sixty percent of millennials would like to see telehealth options available to avoid in-person visits, and 71 percent want a mobile app to book appointments, share health data and manage preventive care. Nearly two-thirds want to submit data from Wi-Fi or wearable devices to their physician for monitoring purposes. Beyond mobile tools, about three-fifths of insured millennials are interested in cutting-edge technologies such as 3D printers to aid their health (prosthetics, hearing aids, etc.) and use of swallowed bills to monitor internal vitals. The interest of millennials is important, according to Salesforce, as their preferences and habits represent the future of healthcare expectations, consumption and delivery.