The majority of patients are interested in using online tools to help self-manage their health care, but not if it means sacrificing face time with their physicians to do so.
A survey of 1,100 U.S. patients by Accenture, a management consulting and technology services company, found that 90% of patients want tools such as online medical record access and appointments to self-manage their health care. But nearly the same percentage (85%) say they want to preserve their in-person interactions with their physicians when needed.
What this means is that patients want choices, said Kaveh Safavi, MD, managing director of Accenture’s North America health industry group.
“They want the option to do some things on their own, but also the option to see a clinician when they want to see a clinician,” he said.
“When we say self-manage, we are talking about a much broader notion than clinical visits,” Dr. Safavi continued. Patients identify things they can do on their own schedules, when it’s convenient to them, and things physicians do on their schedules. There are ways technology can allow those tasks to be accomplished without a coordination of both patient and physician schedules, he said.
There are also ways patients’ online activities can supplement what happens in the office, said Julia Hallisy, DDS, founder of the Empowered Patient Coalition, a consumer advocacy organization. But physicians have to do their part to make sure their patients are engaged, she said.
Via Andrew Spong