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Doctors/Hospitals to Promote Their Online Patient Portals

by | 4 minute read

Americans have multiple numbers at their fingertips, but some of the numbers that could be most important to their health are not among them. New research released today by Quest Diagnostics, the world's leading provider of diagnostic insights, shows that a majority of adults don't know vital health information for them or their family members, but nearly all would like to be able to access their health information online.

Results from the "Know Your Numbers" survey show that more people remember their social media log-ins, current bank balances, Wi-Fi-passwords and even the security code on the back of their credit card than they do important personal health data, including their blood type and cholesterol and blood sugar levels. And, while 82% of adults say that they or a family member had a lab test in the past year, about one in three don't keep their or their child's lab results or don't know where they are.

Potential Doctor Switchers are indeed fond of social media. According to AudienceSCAN, these consumers are active on Facebook (85.3%), YouTube (63.6%), Instagram (45.4%) and Twitter (39.4%). They're also 42% more likely than other adults to find advertisements on social media useful to them, and 26% even have gone to YouTube to watch TV commercials within the past six months. Also, 23.5% have taken action because of information they saw on social networks that weren't even ads! So, social media is the perfect place for doctors to score new patients with advertisements that tout their online access portals.

The survey examined the perceptions of adults aged 18 years of age and older regarding tracking important information in their daily lives from important numbers and passwords to vital personal health care statistics.

"Labs are the lynchpin of health, with the majority of health care decisions being made on the results of lab tests," said Cathy Doherty, Senior Vice President, Clinical Franchise Solutions and Marketing at Quest Diagnostics.  "With consumers increasingly engaged in their own and their loved ones' health care, it's critical that they 'know their numbers', and have those numbers readily accessible, to ensure productive communication with their health care provider for both routine and critical care."

Among the Key Findings:

  • Nearly all (94%) Americans know their Social Security number, while around three in four know their social media passwords (80%), the current balance in their financial accounts (75%) or Wi-Fi passwords (74%).
  • A substantial gap emerges in knowledge of key medical information. Fewer than three in five (57%) Americans know their blood type, something they are just as likely to recall as their childhood phone number (55%).
    • And fewer than two in five know their cholesterol (38%) or blood sugar (A1C) (33%) levels.
    • The percent of African Americans who don't know these numbers is even higher (71% and 77% respectively). This is particularly concerning given that this population is at high risk for heart disease and diabetes.
  • Forty percent say that they either don't have or are not sure if they have access to their lab test results online, and nearly 20 percent admit that in the past year a health professional has requested their lab results, but they didn't have them available.

Additional Findings Show That Not Knowing Your Health Care Information is Not the Same as Not Caring About Your Health:

  • The vast majority of respondents (87%) recognize there are good reasons to have access to health information online, especially in case of emergencies.
  • Despite that fact, nearly one in three keep their lab results in a file cabinet at home. Surprisingly, that is also the case for millennials (aged 20–37) who are known for their highly web-connected lives.
  • In addition to emergencies, nearly half (47%) of adults would like access to their health information online to make better decisions for themselves and their loved ones.

Consumers Demand More Control Over Their Health Care. 

Consumers want to know the information that drives important health care decisions and they want to have it available no matter where they are.

Doctors and other health care professionals can convince Potential Doctor Switchers to consider becoming patients through digital marketing. According to AudienceSCAN, last year, 53.9% of these consumers took action after receiving email ads and 45.9% reacted after either seeing an ad on their mobile smartphone apps or receiving a text ad. They're also 54% more likely than other adults to find advertising on their mobile apps useful and 15% more likely to click on text link ads on websites. Traditional media can be useful in ad campaigns as well. Last year, 65.4% of this audience took action after seeing a TV commercial and 61.1% were driven to action by direct mail ads.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Analyst, specializing in audience intelligence, at SalesFuel. She also helps to maintain the major accounts and co-op intelligence databases. As the holder of a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University, Rachel helps the rest of the SalesFuel team with their writing needs.