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Posted on November 22, 2011 by West Corporation 


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TeleVox™ Software Study: Eight Out of Ten Americans (83%) Don’t Follow Treatment Plans

TeleVox aims to solve problem with technology that makes caring for patients

between doctor visits as easy as writing a prescription
  • Healthcare professionals only give 1 in 20 patients an “A” grade for following treatment plans to the letter.
  • Healthcare professionals believe with the proper motivation and coaching the majority of their patients (80%) will take necessary steps to do what’s required to become healthy.
  • Patients agree — Of the people who feel they could better follow their prescribed treatment plans, nearly half (42%) said they would be more successful if they received information and encouragement from their doctors between visits to stay on course.
  • More than one-third of patients (35%) said they could improve their routine of following doctors’ instructions if they received reminders from their doctors via email, voicemail or text telling them to do something specific, like take medication or check blood sugar levels.

MOBILE, Ala., November 14, 2011 — Televox Software, a leading provider of patient engagement communications (EC) services, today released the results of a study that reveals the majority of Americans fail to follow their doctors’ advice, and uncovers a significant gap in our nation’s healthcare system — lack of patient care between doctor visits.

“Too many patients are expected to ‘go it alone,'” said Scott Zimmerman, President, Televox Software “Doctors typically assess a patient’s current state of health and write a prescription for medication, while providing education about the patient’s ailments and advice for adopting a healthier lifestyle. That is where the physician’s support typically ends — at the very point treatment begins.”

“We’re solving this problem by making it easy for healthcare professionals to provide patient care from the point of diagnosis, through the entire treatment cycle, with a focus on offering encouragement, support and reminders to follow prescribed plans between doctor visits,” Zimmerman continued.

The study revealed that Americans are not taking the appropriate actions to become healthier. Eight out of ten (83%) people across the nation admit they don’t follow treatment plans they have been given by their doctor exactly as prescribed. Healthcare professionals are not quite as forgiving. They only give 1 in 20 patients (5%) an “A” grade for following treatment plans to the letter.

This lack of follow-through by patients exasperates doctors. In fact, according to Consumer Reports the biggest complaint doctors have about patients is their failure to follow advice or treatment recommendations. “When we asked healthcare professionals about their patients’ personal accountability, 37 percent of physicians said their patients acknowledge the situation and have good intentions, but make excuses as to why they ‘can’t’ take charge of their personal health,” Zimmerman said. “A mere 7 percent said they are successfully helping patients become healthier individuals.”

“To achieve success, healthcare providers must engage patients between visits with information that will help them understand the state of their health and their personal role in becoming healthier. Regular communications offering information, encouragement and ‘just-in-time’ reminders will help patients stick with treatment plans between appointments,” said Zimmerman. “It’s no longer enough to prescribe a treatment plan and tell patients to change their lifestyle during their regular appointments. If physicians want their patients to make positive behavior changes for a healthier life, they need to become an active part of their patients’ daily lives.”

The study revealed that healthcare professionals believe with the proper motivation and coaching the majority of their patients (80%) will take the necessary steps to do what’s required to become healthy. Patients agree. Of the people who feel they could better follow their prescribed treatment plans, nearly half (42%) said they would be more successful if they received information and encouragement from their doctors between visits to stay on course. And, more than one-third (35%) said they could improve their routine of following doctors’ instructions if they received reminders from their doctors via email, voicemail or text telling them to do something specific, like exercise or take medication.

Although more than half (55%) of healthcare professionals admit they don’t currently provide patient care between office visits, they want to move in this direction. In fact, two out of five healthcare practices (38%) would like to begin providing this level of patient care in the near future. “Healthcare professionals have an innate desire to improve the lives of their patients physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. With the right technology, they can become actively involved in the day-to-day treatment of their patients,” Zimmerman said.

Media Resources

  • Download the full report for a deeper look at the findings by demographic: http://bit.ly/tvoxreport
  • Download info graphic: http://bit.ly/tvoxgraphic
  • To arrange an interview with Scott Zimmerman, President of TeleVox, to discuss these study findings in more detail, please contact Kristin Jones from Jones PR at kristin@jonespr.net, or by calling 402-334-2948.

About The TeleVox Study: A Fragile Nation in Poor Health

A Fragile Nation in Poor Health is based on a survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,015 Americans ages 18 and older. The survey was conducted by Kelton Research using an email invitation and an online survey format. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

In addition to surveying consumers, TeleVox conducted a survey of more than 2,200 healthcare providers representing a variety of specialties and disciplines. The research was completed using an email invitation and an online survey format.

About TeleVox

Televox Software, a subsidiary of West Corporation, is a high tech Engagement Communications company, providing automated voice, email, text and web solutions that activate positive patient behaviors through the delivery of a human touch. TeleVox has almost 20 years of experience in creating a comprehensive approach that breaks through and activates people to live healthier lives. TeleVox understands that touching the hearts and minds of patients by engaging with them between healthcare appointments will encourage and inspire them to follow and embrace treatment plans. TeleVox knows personalized, ongoing patient engagement will activate positive lifestyle changes that will help people of all ages lead healthier lives. TeleVox helps healthcare professionals touch, engage and activate every single patient to live a healthier life. Supported by 24×7 customer care, TeleVox products and services are used by nearly 17,000 healthcare and commercial enterprises throughout North America. The company is headquartered in Mobile, Alabama.


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