Patients Want to Digitally Connect with Providers

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Salesforce released its “2016 Connected Patient Report,” surveying more than 1,700 U.S. adults who have health insurance and a primary care physician to understand how they communicate with their providers, their opinions on telemedicine and wearables, and their experiences post-discharge from the hospital.

The Salesforce “2016 Connected Patient Report” found that patients want to interact with their physicians in more modern and personal ways, and that providers who take advantage of these new trends set themselves up for success, according to a press release from Salesforce.

Key report findings include:

  • Health insured patients are satisfied with their primary care physicians, but aren’t utilizing modern technologies to connect with them.
  • Ninety-one percent are satisfied with their primary care physician, but still use traditional channels when communicating with their doctors, such as setting up appointments in-person (23%) or over the phone (76%).
  • When it comes to keeping track of their health records, 62% of health-insured patients rely on their doctors to manage their data, while 29% — including 35% of Baby Boomers (ages 55+) — keep their records in a home-based physical storage location like a folder or shoebox.
  • Nearly half of health-insured patients (48%) report having the same doctor for the past 10 years, yet 33% feel their doctors would not recognize them walking down the street.
  • Patients are supportive of telemedicine and home-health monitoring, and these services are factors in whether they would choose a caregiver.
  • Sixty-two percent of health-insured patients agree that they would be open to virtual care treatments as an alternative to in-office doctor visits, such as video conference calls for non-urgent matters.
  • Fifty-nine percent of all health-insured patients — and 70% of Millennials (ages 18-34) — would choose a primary care physician who offers a patient mobile app (allowing patients to make appointments, see bills, view health data, etc.) over one that does not.
  • Patients want their doctors to have access to their wearable health tracking device data to provide more personalized care.
  • Seventy-eight percent of health-insured patients who own wearables want their doctors to have access to health data from these devices so providers can have more up-to-date views of their health (44%), use health data trends to be able to diagnose conditions before they become serious or terminal (39%), and give more personalized care (33%).
  • Sixty-seven percent of Millennials would be very or somewhat likely to use a wearable health tracking device given to them by their insurance companies in exchange for potentially better health insurance rates based on the data provided by the device.
  • Communication improvements can be made in the post-discharge process.
  • More than a quarter (26%) of health-insured patients have been hospitalized or have had a family member hospitalized within the last two years.
  • Based on these experiences, 61% of these adults say that improvements can be made in the post-discharge process, such as better communication between their primary doctors and other members of their care teams (38%).
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