Accenture: Most patients want mobile-enabled Rx refills

By: Brian Dolan | Jun 25, 2012        

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Walgreens Prescription iPhone appAccording to a survey of 1,000 patients in the US, almost all patients (90 percent) want to use technology to better self-manage their own health. Accenture released the results from its survey at last week’s America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) conference. These patients were interested in accessing their own health information, refilling prescriptions, and booking doctors appointments online. Perhaps not surprisingly, some 46 percent of those surveyed did know whether their health records were available electronically.

Another finding that should come as no surprise: While these patients are eager to leverage technology for better self-care, some 85 percent of them still want to keep their in-person interactions with physicians when those are needed.

Here’s how the individual findings from the survey breakdown:

Some 83 percent of patients surveyed want online access to their health records.
About 48 percent want their doctors to manage their medical records.
About 44 percent would rather manage their own information.
Some 33 percent of those surveyed didn’t know if bill pay, electronic reminders and lab results were available to them online.

Accenture found that patients preferred to use mobile devices, the Internet and email for some of the key care management activities:

Nearly all patients surveyed (90 percent) prefer web-based access to health information and education to help manage conditions.
Some 72 percent of those surveyed want web-based access to book, change or cancel physician appointments.
88 percent wanted email interaction with providers, including preventative or follow-up care.
More than three quarters (76 percent) want the option of email consultations with doctors.

The only mobile specific finding? Accenture found that most patients surveyed (73 percent) would rather use their mobile phone to request prescription refills.

More in the press release below:

PRESS RELEASE: SALT LAKE CITY, Jun 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 a new survey by Accenture ACN -1.93% , 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.

Learn more about Accenture’s Insight Driven Health.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 246,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$25.5 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2011. Its home page is www.accenture.com .

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SOURCE: Accenture

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