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Survey: Patients Becoming More Engaged with their Healthcare

February 28, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

A survey of 200 patients and 200 healthcare providers reveals that most patients have become more engaged with their healthcare during the past two years, a change that’s been noticed by providers.

The report from Vernon Hills, Ill.-based CDW Healthcare had the aim to better understand how needs, challenges and motivators differ between the two groups. Indeed, 57 percent of patients said they have become more engaged with their healthcare during the past two years, and 70 percent of providers have noticed a change in their patients’ level of engagement with their own healthcare. Top patient changes include: speaking to healthcare providers more frequently (63 percent) and assessing healthcare information more frequently (59 percent).

However, the report found that patient and providers see things differently when it comes to engagement as a core priority: 60 percent of providers say improving patient engagement is a top priority at their organization, but only 35 percent of patients say they have noticed their providers become more engaged with them. Meanwhile, 58 percent of providers report improved engagement with patients in the past two years. For providers, top motivating factors for engagement include: important part of improving overcall care (70 percent); technology advancements (64 percent); and Meaningful Use requirements (46 percent).

Patients and providers do agree on the two most valuable methods for encouraging patient engagement: web-based access to general healthcare information and online patient portals. However, providers see significantly greater value in mobile applications than patients, while patients see significantly greater value in online chat capabilities than providers.  The top way patients have noticed their healthcare providers increasing engagement with them is through offering the ability to sign up for an online patient portal (62 percent).

Many challenges to better patient engagement do remain, according to the report. Sixty-five percent of patients said they face challenges when trying to engage with their healthcare providers. Those aged 18 to 49 are 19 percent more likely to say they face challenges when trying to engage with their healthcare than those above age 50.

Providers are optimistic, though: 60 percent of providers said they believe that providing patients with greater online access to their personal healthcare information would improve their quality of care. And, 28 percent of providers said they either allow or plan to enable patients to merge information stored on their mobile devices or wearable technologies to the online patient portal they offer.

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