Consumer survey on patient engagement: US research recap

Our survey assesses the US public’s attitudes toward their medical providers’ electronic capabilities, as well as the capabilities of their current providers.

Overview

The 2013 Accenture Consumer Survey on Patient Engagement assessed the general public’s attitudes toward their medical providers’ electronic capabilities, as well as the capabilities of their current providers.

The Survey revealed several interesting findings:

  • Many US consumers are actively tracking information about their health.

  • Medical providers’ electronic capabilities are important to most US consumers.

  • More than one-third of US consumers say that their current medical providers have electronic capabilities.

Background

On behalf of Accenture, Harris Interactive conducted an online survey of 9,015 adults (18 years of age and older) across nine countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States.

The survey assessed the general public’s attitudes toward their medical providers’ electronic capabilities, as well as the capabilities of their current providers.

Where relevant, the survey uses select findings from the Accenture Doctors Survey to compare the doctor and consumer responses. The research was conducted between July 25-31, 2013 and the margin of error for the survey is +/- 3 percent.

Key Findings

The Accenture Consumer Survey on Patient Engagement revealed several interesting findings.

Medical providers’ electronic capabilities are important to most US consumers.

According to the Survey, the majority of US consumers (69 percent to 82 percent) say that it is at least somewhat important for their providers to have electronic capabilities.

Of the surveyed capabilities, consumers most commonly report that access to medical records is important (somewhat/very) (82 percent). Nearly half of consumers (48 percent) say that this is very important.

Other important capabilities include: booking appointments online (77 percent), requesting prescription refills electronically (76 percent) and receiving reminders via email and text (74 percent).

These preferences vary by age group. For example, 18-24 year-olds are more likely to say booking appointments (53 percent), receiving reminders (41 percent) and communicating via email (41 percent) are very important, compared with consumers age 55+ (33 percent, 23 percent and 26 percent respectively).

Many US consumers are actively tracking information about their health.

For each surveyed health characteristic, about one-quarter (26 percent) to one-third (37 percent) of US consumers track their health information.

Consumers most commonly track their health history (37 percent), followed by their physical activity or diet (34 percent) and health indicators such as weight and blood pressure (33 percent). Fewer consumers track their symptoms (26 percent).

Overall, fewer than half (43 percent) do not actively track any of the surveyed health information.

More than one-third (36 percent to 48 percent) of US consumers say that their current medical providers have electronic capabilities.

Nearly half of US consumers (48 percent) said they can request prescription refills electronically. Slightly fewer (43 percent) say they can book appointments or access medical records online.

Between 28 percent and 40 percent of doctors say these electronic services are available to their patients.

Interestingly, many consumers (41 percent) without online access to medical records would consider switching to a provider who offers access.

Recommendations

For more information, contact:

Accenture North America Health Industry Lead:

Kaveh Safavi, M.D., J.D.

+1 312 693 1541

The results of this survey show compelling reasons for doctors to consider adopting the use of EMRs. A majority of US consumers who consider it important (very/somewhat) to have electronic access to their medical records are 3.5 times more likely to switch providers to gain access (52 percent), compared to those consumers who do not find it to be important (at all/very) (13 percent).

According to Accenture’s survey, between about one-quarter (28 percent) and 40 percent of doctors say electronic capabilities are available to their patients. While about one-third (36 percent) to almost half (48 percent) of consumers say their current providers offer these same capabilities.

Who’s Tracking Their Health—Infographic

View the infographic below to learn US consumers’ responses to the question: “Do you currently actively track (i.e., write it down/store online or offline) your own health history, physical activity or diet, health indicators, symptoms, or none of the above?”

Accenture Consumer Survey on Patient Engagement: US Research Recap
Electronic Capabilities (Consumers vs. Doctors) Chart

View Additional Charts

Accenture Consumer Survey on Patient Engagement: US Research Recap
Electronic Capabilities Chart

Accenture Consumer Survey on Patient Engagement
The Virtual Waiting Room Infographic

Implications for Risk Bearers—Video

Our survey shows that patients want to be more active, engaged participants in their healthcare. Risk bearers would be wise to change at pace with consumers’ communication preferences.

The Accenture Consumer Survey on Patient Engagement identifies the range of channels patients favor for communicating with their healthcare providers and accessing information about their health. In this short video Sudhakar Kosaraju, Accenture’s Global Health Management Lead, talks about how risk bearers would benefit from leveraging the digital and electronic communications channels that consumers prefer.

Implications of Engaged Patients—Video

Patient engagement leads to more accountable, empowered and healthy patients.

The Accenture Consumer Survey on Patient Engagement shows that patients are increasingly interested in electronically engaging with their healthcare providers, but how does patient participation contribute to health outcomes improvement? In this short video, Sudhakar Kosaraju speaks about how patient engagement is essential for population health advances to take hold.

Industry & topics highlighted

Health