Survey: Patients Consider Digital Tools When Selecting Providers

Patients are increasingly taking into consideration the digital health tools doctors offer when selecting a primary care physician, according to a new survey by TechnologyAdvice, MobiHealthNews reports (Comstock, MobiHealthNews, 1/15).

Survey Details

For the survey, TechnologyAdvice polled 406 U.S. adults who either had seen their primary care physician recently or had an appointment scheduled to do so (Graham, TechnologyAdvice release, 1/14).

Respondents were asked about a variety of digital tools, including:

  • Health resources and education materials;
  • Mobile scheduling applications;
  • Online bill pay;
  • Online appointment scheduling;
  • Online test results or diagnoses; and
  • Secure messaging outside of office hours.

Survey Findings

Among respondents, 60.8% said the availability of digital tools was “important” or “somewhat important” to their choice of provider.

About 64% of respondents said they wanted their physician to offer at least one of the digital tools listed in the survey, while 62.6% said their provider did offer such services.

However, the survey revealed a disconnect between the tools patients wanted and those doctors actually offered.

Specifically, the survey found that:

  • 32.8% of respondents said they wanted online test results, while 27.8% said their physicians offered them;
  • 29.3% said they wanted to schedule appointments online, while 19.7% said their physicians offered the service; and
  • 25.1% said they wanted online bill pay tools, while 17.7% said their physicians offered them.

In addition, the survey found that while educational materials or health resources was one of the least-requested services, it was the most highly offered (MobiHealthNews, 1/15).

Source: iHealthBeat, Friday, January 16, 2015
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