Feeling Ill? The Computer Will See You Now

Despite increased use of online resources to inform health decisions, more Americans don't take advantage of health care innovations. (NAPS)

KatarzynaBialasiewicz

(NAPSI)—The next time you don’t feel well, where will you turn? If you’re like many Americans, it will be to your computer.

According to a recent survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of University of Phoenix*, nearly two-thirds (59 percent) of American adults use online health resources, such as WebMD, as a substitute for primary health care. On the other hand, the survey also showed that far fewer adults are taking advantage of other health care innovations, such as e-prescription filling services (39 percent), online access to health records (37 percent), text message appointment reminders (35 percent) and online appointment booking services (27 percent).

Additionally, nearly half of respondents (48 percent) said the rising cost of insurance would be the biggest challenge facing the health care industry in the next five years, with three-quarters of respondents indicating that prescription drug coverage (77 percent) and monthly premium costs (77 percent) were very important when selecting health care coverage.

Expert Opinion

“The health care industry is shifting to a patient-centered model that harnesses technology to both open communication channels and create a platform for patient engagement,” said Doris Savron, executive dean for the College of Health Professions at University of Phoenix. “Given this shift, it is crucial that patients not only have access to these technologies, but also view them as important resources for improving their health and overall care experience.”

What Patients Want

When Americans utilize traditional care settings, they have strong feelings about the qualities that health care professionals should have. According to the survey, the majority of Americans find it “very important” for their treatment teams to have interpersonal skills, including listening (84 percent), verbal communication (83 percent) and bedside care (71 percent). These skills, Savron notes, are key to health care professionals building trust with their patients and enabling them to take ownership of their care.

“The data shows that technology is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to patient care,” added Dean Savron. “Although new technologies are resources that we should lean on to help improve communication, interpersonal skills are the foundation for ensuring patient trust and better care. Communication and empathy are vital skills for health professionals seeking to encourage patient responsibility in their care and drive positive outcomes for them.”

Where To Learn More

University of Phoenix College of Health Professions offers leading-edge graduate, undergraduate, certificate and nondegree programs aimed at preparing students to improve the quality of health care in their communities and the industry. It helps ensure that today’s graduates can effectively tackle tomorrow’s health care challenges.

To learn more about programs offered through the College of Health Professions, visit www.phoenix.edu/chp.

*A national sample of 2,201 registered U.S. voters completed the online survey, conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of University of Phoenix from August 10−14, 2017. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of +/- two percentage points. For complete survey methodology, please contact Amanda Barchilon at Amanda.Barchilon@phoenix.edu.

On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)

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