New “Examining Care Quality” report reveals that patients and providers do not believe Americans are getting healthier despite paying for more care, and more focus on patient engagement, prevention and wellness could improve outcomes.
- Only 20 percent of patients report that their health improved in the past 12 months.
- 42 percent of healthcare professionals and 37 percent of patients feel that quality is one of the biggest issues with healthcare.
- 96 percent of patients believe there are problems with healthcare in America.
- More adults in the U.S. would describe their feelings about America’s healthcare system as frustrated (43%), disappointed (38%) or stressed (29%) than optimistic (20%) or happy (13%).
MOBILE, Ala., November 6, 2017—The majority of Americans did not see their health improve during the past year, and many patients and providers believe disappointing outcomes underscore a need for quality improvement according to a new study released today by West, a leading provider of technology-enabled patient engagement communications, including the well-known TeleVox Solutions. The study also shows that providers have opportunities to increase their focus on prevention and wellness, and that by doing so they may be able to more actively engage patients, drive them to adopt healthy behaviors and participate in activities that would improve their health.
“Only 20 percent of patients believe that their health improved during the previous 12 months,” said Allison Hart, West’s chief marketing research and insights strategist. “When we asked patients about their perceptions of healthcare in America, the responses revealed that patients are twice as likely to feel frustrated compared to optimistic about healthcare. Providers and patients agree that quality is a top concern when it comes to healthcare.”
The study titled, “Examining Care Quality: How Patient Engagement Improves Health,” found that 85 percent of providers and patients feel that the country’s healthcare system often forces patients to pay for more care or services, but neither patients or providers believe this has resulted in better outcomes.
When it comes to solving quality issues, patients and providers each want the other to be more accountable. “Patients place a lot of responsibility on providers; 83 percent of Americans admit they hold their healthcare provider responsible for their wellbeing,” said Hart. “At the same time, 96 percent of providers feel frustrated by patients not participating in managing their own healthcare.”
Both patients and providers agree that more commitment to prevention and wellness is necessary. Patients define quality care as proactive care. They are looking to providers for leadership and guidance on wellness, preventive care and healthy living. Most patients feel driving improved health requires action by their medical teams. Survey findings revealed patients believe that if providers pushed them to receive recommended preventive tests and screenings (31%) and proactively shared wellness and prevention advice (22%) it would lead to better outcomes. Most providers feel patients currently do a poor job of practicing wellness and preventing illness themselves. Only six percent of medical providers would give their patients an “A” grade for practicing wellness and taking actions to prevent illness and chronic disease, while 59 percent would give their patients a grade of a “C” or below.
West’s report shares solutions for how healthcare providers can leverage appointment reminder technology to engage patients around wellness and prevention. Many healthcare teams are already using an appointment reminder system to send patients reminders and notifications about upcoming appointments. As the report shows, this technology can be used to let patients know when they are due for recommended screenings, encourage patients to schedule appointments for routine tests and even deliver survey check-ins that allow providers to monitor patients’ health between visits, escalate cases America.