According to a new survey released today, only 10 percent of patients prefer to receive physician communications via patient portals, whereas twice that many (19.6 percent) favor receiving information via secure text messages when in-person and phone calls are not an option. The new survey, conducted by DrFirst, also reveals that more than 90 percent of respondents would like the ability to communicate via secure text messaging with a family member’s care team if that loved one were ill.
Key findings include:
– Patient prefers non-portal communications: The survey results suggest that despite widespread access to patient portals, physicians should consider secure messaging alternatives to satisfy consumers’ strong preference for text messaging when phone calls or in-person discussions are not feasible.
– Patients welcome text messages that encourage better health: The survey findings also indicate that the majority of consumers would find it beneficial to receive reminders from their physician about simple behaviors that could improve their health. Depending on the type of message, 83 percent of respondents would welcome reminders from their doctors about taking prescribed medications, checking blood pressure, completing rehabilitation exercises, scheduling follow-up appointments, or similar tasks.
– Clinicians can use secure messaging to increase satisfaction, improve outcomes
“The survey results confirm our observation that patients want to be more engaged in their care and desire more options for interacting with their healthcare providers using the same communication methods they regularly use in every other part of their life,” said G. Cameron Deemer, President of DrFirst. “Clinicians who use secure text messaging to connect with patients and their family members can improve patient satisfaction, drive medication adherence, and empower patients to be more actively involved in their health and wellness.”