Communication between patients and physicians through the Internet still is struggling to gain traction, according to a survey of almost 5,300 participants by Forrester Research. Here are some important takeaways of that Forrester survey:
- Only 16% of individuals have taken advantage of their physicians’ forms online for medical visits.
- Amongst those “e-Visit users” – patients going on the Internet to talk to their physicians – 46% have a college degree or greater. Amongst non-users, 25% hold a college degree, barely 50% of the rate.
- Also, e-Visit users have greater household incomes, and average $88,000, whereas the average income for the ones not utilizing the service is $70,000.
- Nine of ten e-Visit users reported that they go on the Internet each month and, as they do, they’re more susceptible to perform various health research.
- Also, the ones embracing the e-Visit experience show higher indications of healthcare consumerism.
- The health care reform effect is that the necessity for Internet conversations between patients and doctors is going to increase.
We draw multiple conclusions of our own:
- Barely 1 in 6 individuals used Internet forms — however isn’t that because of the rarity of medical practices which offer it? That is potentially around the percentage of practices which do provide this convenience to patients.
If so, Internet forms make an excellent marketing differentiator for practices — if it all boiled down to selecting between two competing practices or physicians, wouldn’t you choose the one that spares you the trouble of having to arrive 30 minutes ahead of time for your first appointment so you may record your most private health information on a clipboard inside a crowded waiting room?
- Patients who use online communications with their providers are wealthier, more educated, and are the most active regular Internet users and health consumers. These are certainly the most informed health care consumers with the best possible outcomes, the very kind that practices should be pursuing as new patients.
- Health care communications online are no longer the future; yet are the present, and practices have the option of either following or leading the competition.
For more details contact Leading Management Solutions at (407) 674-1916.
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