Electronic health records (EHRs) and other patient-directed technologies are having a profound, and mostly positive, impact on patient behavior—sometimes enough to cause shifts among patients from one provider to another, according to a new survey from CareCloud.
The interactive, online survey of nearly 1,500 patients from the Miami, Fla.-based vendor found that 80 percent of patients reported that EHRs have either improved, or had negligible impact on their experience with their physician. In fact, nearly one-third of respondents said that their overall care has improved with EHRs.
What’s more, high levels of interest in online healthcare tools span all demographic groups, not just younger generations. Millennials, however, were the group most likely to make a change based on the availability of online tools. The report, what the company dubs as its first annual Patient Experience Index (PXI), showed that patients between the ages of 18 to 35 are twice as likely to switch providers in order to access online financial and medical records than any other age group.
However, in contrast to stereotypes surrounding technology and Millennials, Baby Boomers (51 to 65 years of age) are the group most likely to take advantage of digital healthcare tools. They are viewing online medical records, requesting prescription refills, and contacting their providers with follow-up questions.
The PXI also examined the online factors influencing provider selection. While efforts by medical groups such as social media promotion are still lagging behind more traditional search methods (i.e. insurance payer website, word of mouth), online physician reputation is becoming increasingly influential. Twenty-six percent of patients reported that they have completed an online review for one or more of their providers, and 11 percent of patients indicated reviews websites play a role in their provider selection process.
“This survey of the patient experience only reinforces the importance of technology in modern medicine," Ken Comée, CareCloud's CEO said in a statement. "The patient experience is dramatically transforming. Not only are one-third of patients reporting a positive impact of technology on their care, but patients of all ages are actually embracing digital online patient engagement tools, from scheduling appointments to accessing their medical records and making online payments."