Every day, Americans use online tools to gather information, pay bills, communicate with friends, and conduct business. Intuit Health’s second annual Health Care Check-Up Survey shows that they want and expect that same connectivity and convenience from their doctor’s office.

Seventy-three percent of Americans surveyed would use a secure online communication solution to make it easier to get lab results, request appointments, pay medical bills, and communicate with their doctor’s office. The convenience of anytime, anywhere access is so important that almost half would consider switching doctors for a practice that offered the ability to communicate and complete important health care tasks online.

The survey also found that rising costs continue to be a major concern for people.

  • 70% said they are somewhat or very concerned about managing their health care bills, the same percentage as last year.
  • 62% said their health care costs increased in 2010.
  • Two-thirds believe their health care costs will increase in the future.
  • Baby Boomers were most concerned with rising costs: 66% said their costs have increased and 72% are most concerned with rising costs in the future. Compared to 59% of Gen Y and Gen X respondents who said their health care costs have increased, and 62% who were concerned with rising costs in the future.

“Patient anxiety is rising. They want some measure of control, convenience and better communication with their doctor,” said Steve Malik, president and general manager of Intuit Health. “Doctors who offer secure online solutions can meet this patient demand while increasing office efficiency and enhancing the doctor-patient relationship. In addition, online solutions, like a patient portal, have proven to improve staff and patient satisfaction levels, while positively impacting the physician’s bottom line by reducing patient no-shows and increasing the speed at which payments are received.”

The survey confirmed that increasing consumer utilization and comfort with online solutions is extending to health care.

  • The ability to easily connect with their doctor remains an issue for patients. Nearly 20% of Americans feel they cannot easily reach their doctor’s office to ask questions, make appointments or obtain lab results.
  • Americans want more efficient visits with their physicians. Eighty-one percent would schedule their own appointment via a secure Web service and fill out medical/registration forms online prior to their appointment.
  • Patients want easy, secure access to their information. Seventy-eight percent of respondents would use a secure online method to access their medical histories and share information with their doctor.
  • Younger patients prefer online. Fifty-nine percent of Gen Y respondents said they would switch doctors for one with better online access compared to only 29% of Baby Boomers.
[Source:  “Second Annual Health Care Check-Up Survey.”  Decipher Research/Intuit Health.  2 Mar. 2011.  Web.  3 Mar. 2011.]