Report: Patients prefer to connect with providers in person, over the phone

Despite the plethora of technologies available to help patients connect with their care providers, most still prefer to communicate in person or over the phone, according to Salesforce's "2015 State of the Connected Patient" report.

The survey of 1,700 adults with health insurance and a primary care physician (PCP) found that 76 percent of respondents set up appointments by phone and 25 percent did it in person; that's in stark contrast to the 7 percent who did so through the Web and 6 percent who set up an appointment through email.

In addition, patients still prefer to review their health data in person--62 percent rely on their doctor for information. However, the authors of the report say online patient portals are growing in popularity; 21 percent of the respondents said they use a portal to see their data.

The report also found that:

  • 40 percent of respondents get test results from their PCP in person
  • 38 percent pay their health bill in person
  • 36 percent manage preventive care in person

However, according to a survey by TechnologyAdvice Research, patients want their healthcare providers to offer digital services. More than 60 percent of the 406 U.S. patients who participated in that survey said digital tools are important to them when they are choosing a provider.

In addition, Millennials will have a big impact on technology use by patients going forward, authors of the Salesforce report say.

"Beyond mobile tools, 61 percent of insured Millennials are interested in 3-D printing devices to aid their health, and 57 percent would be interested in cutting-edge tools like pills that can monitor internal vitals when swallowed," they add.

To learn more:
- download the report