Many Americans Want a High-Tech Doctor’s Office

March 2, 2011 ( – Seventy-three percent of Americans in a new poll would use a secure online communication solution to make it easier to get lab results, request appointments, pay medical bills, and communicate with their doctor’s office.

An Intuit Health news release about its survey said the issue is so important that almost half would consider switching doctors for a practice that offered the ability to communicate and complete important health care tasks online.

The survey also found that rising costs continue to be a major concern:

  • 70% said they are somewhat or very concerned about managing their health care bills, the same percentage as last year.
  • 62% said their health care costs increased in 2010.
  • Two-thirds believe their health care costs will increase in the future.
  • Baby Boomers were most concerned with rising costs: 66% said their costs have increased and 72% are most concerned with rising costs in the future. Compared to 59% of Gen Y and Gen X respondents who said their health care costs have increased, and 62% who are concerned with rising costs in the future.

“Patient anxiety is rising. They want some measure of control, convenience and better communication with their doctor,” said Steve Malik, president and general manager of Intuit Health, in the news release. “

 The survey confirmed that increasing consumer utilization and comfort with online solutions is extending to health care:

  • The ability to easily connect with their doctor remains an issue for patients. Nearly 20% of Americans feel they cannot easily reach their doctor’s office to ask questions, make appointments or obtain lab results.
  • Americans want more efficient visits with their physicians. Eighty-one percent would schedule their own appointment via a secure Web service and fill out medical/registration forms online prior to their appointment.
  • Patients want easy, secure access to their information. Seventy-eight percent of respondents would use a secure online method to access their medical histories and share information with their doctor.
  • Younger patients prefer online. Fifty-nine percent of Gen Y respondents said they would switch doctors for one with better online access compared to only 29% of Baby Boomers.

The poll was compiled by Decipher Research in January 2010, polling 1,000 American adults online.