Most Americans lack access to online and other digital tools in the context of health care, unlike the ubiquity of these conveniences for non–health care services, such as banks, retailers, and airlines. That’s according to a recent Nielsen Strategic Health Perspectives survey, commissioned by the Council of Accountable Physician Practices and the Bipartisan Policy Center.
- 79% of people cannot schedule appointments online
- 80% don’t receive appointment reminders by email, 91% don’t get them by text, and 51% are not even reminded by telephone
- 72% have no access to their own health information through a patient portal
- 85% can’t communicate with providers via secure email, and 98% lack access to video visits
Even more alarming: Most people surveyed were unaware that some of these services could be made available, and most physicians were unenthusiastic about providing them.
We won’t solve tomorrow’s health care challenges with yesterday’s tools and technology. Every other industry has already made the transition. Smartphones are now carried by 70% of people, most of whom check the device a few times an hour (some even take it to bed).
Now is the time for health care to move into the 21st century. We and our patients can’t afford to wait.