From patient portals and personal health records to wearable tech and medical devices, all these innovations are aimed at providing patient engagement solutions. But, how do patients and providers view the impact of this technology on engagement?

In a study by CDW, Healthcare Engagement: Patient and Provider Perspectivesthe company surveyed 200 patients and 200 healthcare providers to better understand how needs, challenges, and motivators differ between the two groups and how they impact patient engagement. The results show that both groups are embracing digital technology to foster greater engagement.

Patients and Providers Embrace Digital Increasing Patient Engagement

Providers and patients agree that the most valuable approach to encouraging patient engagement are through web-based access to general healthcare information and online patient portals.

Increased access to health records improves patient engagement

78 percent of patients would like easier access their personal health records. According to survey results, providers are in tune with this request with 67 percent of providers indicating they are currently working on strategies to improve patient satisfaction and give them easier access to their health records.

For patients, the benefits of having more access to this information is three-fold:

  • Becoming more knowledgeable about their medical information;
  • Saving time; and
  • Increasing overall engagement.

Providers are aligned with patients with 60 percent of providers agreeing that providing greater online access would improve their patient’s quality of care.

Portals are popular with patients and providers

60 percent of patients indicated that they can access a patient portal for their doctor. Of those, 62 percent of patients between the ages of 18-49 say they use patient portals at least monthly.

68 percent of providers say patients can access a patient portal, and an additional 13 percent are working on developing one.

Providers and patients disagree on mobile and chat

While patients and providers may agree on health record access and the benefits of portals, they disagree when it comes to the use of mobile technology and online chat capabilities. Providers see more value in mobile, while patients see significantly greater value in online chat.

Roadblocks remain

Engagement is not without its roadblocks. The study shows that patients still feel they face challenges trying to connect with their healthcare providers. The top three frustrations cited included limited office hours, slow response rates, and the need to enter information on multiple forms across multiple systems.

There is work to be done but it is encouraging to see that patients and providers are becoming more aligned on patient engagement strategies

To read the full results of the CDW study, click here to download the report.