A new study from the University of Phoenix College of Health Professionals reveals that 59% of American adults have used online resources (eg, WebMD) to explore symptoms instead of visiting a primary care physician. Just 12% have used telemedicine in place of primary care. The data reflect an online survey of 2,201 people from a range of demographic categories. Doris Savron, executive dean, interpreted the data as proof that the healthcare industry is leaning toward a more patient-centered model that requires more open communication between patients and providers. Questions covered patients’ use of online health records, appointment booking, and chat capabilities, as well as text message appointment reminders and e-prescription refills. One demographic trend that emerged: In every category except online chat services, women were more likely than men to have used the technology, which the study’s authors concluded as consistent with the fact that women are more likely to be the primary caregivers, and more likely to be most responsible for healthcare decisions within a family.
New Data: More than Half of Adults Have Used Online Resources In Lieu of Primary Care