October 11, 2012

Patients want texts and emails, in sickness and in health

A new survey finds that patients' expectations for healthcare providers have evolved. A majority expect their doctors to communicate with them proactively - even when they're well - via texts, emails and proactive smartphone alerts. Healthcare IT News reports via @jranck.

quotemarksright.jpgSponsored by Seattle-based communications firm Varolii, the survey polled 1,001 adults across the U.S.

Its findings may come as a surprise to some busy physicians. Nearly 80 percent of respondents say it's their doctor's job to keep them healthy - not just to treat them when they're sick. And they wish there was more communication when they're feeling OK: 70 percent of respondents say their doc has never checked on them when they weren’t sick in order to help them stay healthy.

... According to the survey, 50 percent of respondents said they believed texts, emails or smartphone apps with tips, reminders and encouragement could have helped them avoid a past health problem.

But this eagerness for more interaction notwithstanding, healthcare providers are lacking, they say. Just 25 percent of those polled said they felt their healthcare provider was accessible to them when they have questions or concerns. And 68 percent said their doctor has never sent them a text message or email regarding upcoming appointment reminders, discharge information or electronic health resources.quotesmarksleft.jpg

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