Americans Want Greater Control Over Their Own Healthcare
According to a new Wolters Kluwer Health survey, 80 percent of consumers believe the greater "consumerization" of healthcare – or the trend of individuals taking a greater and more active role in their own healthcare – is positive for Americans. Survey data suggests many Americans feel that a greater role in their care is not only good, but necessary, with 86 percent of consumers reporting that they feel they have to take a more proactive role in managing their own healthcare in order to ensure better quality of care.
Most consumers also say they feel prepared to take on a greater role in managing their own healthcare, with 76 percent reporting that they have the information and tools to take a more proactive role in healthcare decisions ranging from choosing healthcare providers to researching treatment options. Despite feeling prepared, only 19 percent report that they have their own electronic Personal Health Record (PHR).
The Wolters Kluwer Health survey was conducted by IPSOS among 1,000 US consumers ages 18 and older. Survey questions focused on exploring whether consumers want more control over their own healthcare and whether they feel prepared to take on more responsibility.
"With greater responsibility placed on patients to take a role in their own care, it's essential that consumers have access to evidence-based tools and resources to make informed decisions about their care in partnership with their healthcare providers," said Dr. Linda Peitzman, Chief Medical Officer, Wolters Kluwer Health. "Access to research-based medical information not only can positively impact quality of care, but it also can lead to improved doctor-patient communication and relationships."
Survey findings showed that the notion of the "patient experience" is also gaining significance for many Americans. Three in ten adults (30 percent) want their patient experience to be the same as any other customer experience they have – such as shopping, hotel and travel experiences – complete with choices and control.
When it comes to choices about physicians, assuming that experience levels and care reputations are similar, consumers rank costs of visits and procedures (20 percent); technologically advanced offices, including the ability to communicate via email with doctors and nurses, schedule appointments online (19 percent); location of practice/office (19 percent) and friendliness of staff (14 percent) as the top four factors influencing their decision.
Among other findings from the survey:
>>Women (85 percent) are more likely than men (74 percent) to believe the "consumerization" of healthcare is positive
>>More women (81 percent) than men (72 percent) feel that they have the information and tools to make their own healthcare decisions
>>More women (59 percent) than men (50 percent) strongly agree that they need to take a more proactive role in managing their care to ensure better quality of care
>>Consumers aged 35-54 (60 percent) are the most likely to strongly agree that they need to be more proactive about their care, with those aged 55+ (56 percent) coming in second and younger adults (47 percent) being least likely to agree
For more information on the survey and to download an executive summary of survey findings, visit wolterskluwerhealth.com/News/Pages/MediaSource.aspx.