Accenture’s recent survey (consumer research) reveals that despite a soaring number of tech-savvy seniors craving online choices for their health options, medical facilities can’t keep up. Only 33% of healthcare providers offer the technology that seniors want such as:

  • Management tools including online appointment scheduling (62%)
  • Virtual physician consultations (42%)

The number of seniors using the internet has tripled for the 65 and over crowd since the year 2000 according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project and twice the number of use was seen for the 50-64 year old.

Tech-Savvy Seniors manage their healthcare with 75% of Medicare recipients accessing the internet daily. At least once each day, if not more, seniors are at their computers reaching out for:

  • Social media sites (e.g. FaceBook, Pinterest, Instagram)- 33%
  • Computer searches-73%
  • Email-91%

Jill Dailey, managing director of payer strategy, Accenture Health points out:

“Just as seniors are turning to the Internet for banking, shopping, entertainment and communications, they also expect to handle certain aspects of their healthcare services online.”  “What this means for providers and health buying ventolin in australia plans is that they’ll need to expand their digital options if they want to attract older patients and help them track and manage their care outside their doctor’s office.”

In the survey, a full 67% said that having access to their health data is important which contrasts to a mere 28% actually having access to their electronic health records. While 70% felt that it is important to have the ability to request medication refills electronically, only 46% have the opportunity to do so. In addition, 58% want to email their healthcare providers but only 15% are offered that chance.

Bear in mind that patient portals are part of the Meaningful Use Stage 2 that must be implemented to stay in compliance.

“As the digitally engaged senior patient population continues to grow, healthcare systems need to consider the role the Internet can play in making healthcare more convenient for patients of all ages at every touch point,” Dailey added.

Doctors and healthcare providers, Are you listening?!