Most Patients Want to Self-Manage Healthcare Online, Accenture Survey Finds

But nearly half are unaware if their health records are available electronically

SALT LAKE CITY; June 20, 2012 – The vast majority of patients (90 percent) want to self-manage their healthcare leveraging technology, such as accessing medical information, refilling prescriptions and booking appointments online, but nearly half (46 percent) are unaware if their health records are available electronically, according to anew survey by Accenture (NYSE:ACN), which was released today at the America's  Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) annual meeting.

The survey of 1,100 U.S. patients also found that while people want to increase access to digital channels, the majority of those surveyed (85 percent) also want to preserve their in-person interactions with doctors when needed. “Patients increasingly want access to their personal medical information, anytime, anywhere,” said Kaveh Safavi, MD, JD, who leads Accenture’s North America health industry group. “But they’re not willing to give up the option of face time with their physicians.”  

Despite the fact that most respondents (83 percent) want online access to their health records, according to the survey, patients do not agree on how medical information should be managed. Nearly half of those surveyed (48 percent) want their doctors to manage their medical records, while the remainder (44 percent) prefer to manage their own information.

However, one third (33 percent) of those surveyed did not know whether services such as bill pay, electronic reminders and lab results were available to them online.  

 

The survey showed that patients prefer to use mobile devices, the Internet and email for accessing and managing several key aspects of their own healthcare, including:

  • Web-based access to health information: Nearly all patients surveyed (90 percent) prefer web-based access to health information and education to help manage conditions and nearly three quarters (72 percent) to book, change or cancel physician appointments.
  • Email interaction with providers: The majority of respondents (88 percent) want to receive email reminders when it is time for preventative or follow-up care and three quarters (76 percent) want the option of email consultations with doctors.
  • Self-management of healthcare by mobile devices: Most patients surveyed (73 percent) prefer to use a mobile device for requesting prescription refills.

Methodology

The Accenture Connected Health Pulse Survey is based on an online survey of 1,110 U.S. patients to determine the preferred channels of electronic health information and services. The online survey was fielded March 30 through April 4, 2012.

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 246,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries