NOTE: The following is an excerpt from TeleVox’s Healthy World report, “Technology Beyond the Exam Room”, which discusses issues to consider when incorporating high-tech engagement into treatment plans. Download it HERE!
When a patient is asked how much alcohol they drink or if they smoke, do physicians always receive truthful answers?
During clinical or hospital visits, some patients experience social anxiety when discussing their lifestyle choices. A patient may be hesitant to reveal private information out of fear of what their physician may think. Unfortunately, this lack of disclosure can lead to incorrect diagnoses and prescriptions, making the patient’s initial face-to-face visit dangerously counterproductive.
The digital age is providing the tools for the necessary solutions to this challenge. When patients were asked how they felt about office visits in a virtual setting, an astounding 85 percent responded that communications such as emails, text messages and voicemails are as helpful, if not even more helpful, than in-person or phone conversations with their healthcare provider.
Over one-third (34 percent) of U.S. consumers said they would be more honest when talking about their medical needs through an automated call, email or text message than in person with a healthcare provider. Others revealed they would talk more frankly about nutritional habits (28 percent), their fitness regimen (27 percent) or personal vices (18 percent) through digital communication rather than in-person visits.