Sunday, July 13, 2014

What do Patients Expect in Health Information Technology ?

There are thousands of applications available for eHealth. There are several categories

  • Standard readily available consumer driven platforms and software, such as Google and all of it's related services, such as Gmail, Docs, Calendar,Impress (a presentation app) and a social media platform known as Google pllus. Google plus offers a video conferencing app which has connectivity to many other google plug ins. (Hangouts, and Hangouts on Air_)
  • Microsoft offers either a client server suite of Microsoft Office or a cloud based Office called Windows Office 365. This is offered on a paid subscription  basis. Their  email is named Outlook. Office 365 includes a calendar, word processor, spreadsheet, powerpoint presentation,and other apps as well.

  • Apple amd Android have  significant library of health apps, mobile health apps utilizng individual operating systems, iOS for Apple and Android for Google smartphones, and tablets, as well as Chrome for Chromebooks.  Apple's applications are available on iTunes. Android apps are available on the Android store, Chromebook Store, or Google play.  The available health apps mirror each other on both OS systems, however there are some differences. Practically speaking users select an OS when they purchase their devices.  The marketplace for Apple and Google have evened out in the past two years.     

Predicting the future in certain areas of HIT can be dangerous for manufacturers, vendors and providers. Health IT is still in it's infancy as far as usabiity and functionality. As we progress in the use of HIT the curve of innovation is not slowing down .

Most U.S. Residents Prefer Doctors Who Email With Their Patients

However providers are reticent to use this approach due to vulnerability of email systems that are not seccure.  Inevitably this will change.

A majority of U.S. residents say they prefer physicians who offer email communication with their patients, according to a survey by Catalyst Healthcare Research, MobiHealthNews reports.

Study Details

For the study, researchers surveyed 433 U.S. residents over the age of 21 to gauge how they prefer to receive information from their health care providers. Respondents were split into four categories:
  • Generation Y, or those ages 21 to 33;
  • Generation X, or those ages 34 to 48;
  • Baby Boomers, or those ages 49 to 67; and
  • The Silent Generation, or those ages 68 and older.

Study Findings

According to the survey, 93% of respondents said they prefer to see a physician who offers email communication with his or her patients. Of those respondents, one-quarter said they still would choose a doctor who offers email consultations, even if there is a $25 charge for such communication.
In addition, the survey found that:
  • 84% of respondents in the Baby Boomer group used the Internet to obtain medical or drug information;
  • 62% of respondents in the Generation Y group searched for physician information online; and
  • 41% of respondents in the Generation Y group looked for medical procedure costs online.
The survey also showed:
  • 44% of respondents were interested in paying medical bills online, including 55% of both the Generation Y and Generation X groups; and
  • 46% of respondents in the Generation X group were interested in viewing lab results online.
However, the survey found that 27% of all respondents said they preferred to schedule physician appointments online, compared with 67% who preferred to do so over the phone.
The survey also asked respondents about their preferred forms of physician communication outside of office hours. The survey found:
  • 14% of respondents were interested in a video chat program, such as Skype;
  • 57% were interested in dialing a number that offers a call-back feature; and
  • 30% desired a 24-hour phone number (Pai, MobiHealthNews, 6/3).

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