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Nielson Survey: Patients Want Docs To Use Technology More Often

A recent Nielson survey found that while patients have little access to the digital tools that have to come to redefine other industries, their desire for doctors to begin harnessing technology is strong.
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A recent Nielson survey found that while patients have little access to the digital tools that have to come to redefine other industries, their desire for doctors to begin harnessing technology is strong.

The survey shows little availability of non-traditional lines of communication with their physician or doctor’s office. Forty-five percent of all respondents received over-the-phone appointment reminders while just one in five, or 21 percent, could schedule appointments online. Fifteen percent emailed their provider, and 14 percent had access to health information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. About 9 percent reported using text messaging.

The desire for these things is higher in every category besides phones: For adults between 18 and 34 years old, 44 percent reported wanting text reminders. A quarter of all respondents want emails, and 28 percent want online messaging. Thirty-six percent also want online scheduling. And these numbers will only increase, as tech-savvy young adults age and begin needing the doctor more often.

The takeaway being that technology that’s readily used in other sectors has yet to catch on in healthcare. The study attributes this to two primary reasons: One, doctors are strained as it is and aren’t necessarily reimbursed for instituting these initiatives. The study suggests that patients and purchasers should team up to increase demand of these services and work out new, outcome-based delivery models that could incentivize adding technology to practices.

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