Survey: Americans want greater control over their own health care

Wolters Kluwer health survey shows consumers feel they must take a more proactive role in their healthcare to ensure quality of care

PHILADELPHIA — According to a new Wolters Kluwer Health survey, 80% of consumers believe the greater "consumerization" of health care — or the trend of individuals taking a greater and more active role in their own health care — is positive for Americans. Survey data suggests many Americans feel that a greater role in their care is not only good, but necessary, with 86% of consumers reporting that they feel they have to take a more proactive role in managing their own health care in order to ensure better quality of care.

Most consumers also say they feel prepared to take on a greater role in managing their own health care, with 76% reporting that they have the information and tools to take a more proactive role in healthcare decisions ranging from choosing healthcare providers to researching treatment options. Despite feeling prepared, only 19% report that they have their own electronic Personal Health Record (PHR).

These findings correlate to recent reports from DSN highlighting consumers turning more towards social media and mobile apps to help in their healthcare needs.

"With greater responsibility placed on patients to take a role in their own care, it's essential that consumers have access to evidence-based tools and resources to make informed decisions about their care in partnership with their healthcare providers," said Dr. Linda Peitzman, chief medical officer for Wolters Kluwer Health. "Access to research-based medical information not only can positively impact quality of care, but it also can lead to improved doctor-patient communication and relationships."

Survey findings showed that the notion of the "patient experience" is also gaining significance for many Americans. Three-in-10 adults (i.e., 30%) want their patient experience to be the same as any other customer experience they have — such as shopping, hotel and travel experiences — complete with choices and control.

The Wolters Kluwer Health survey was conducted by IPSOS among 1,000 U.S. consumers ages 18 years and older. Survey questions focused on exploring whether consumers want more control over their own health care and whether they feel prepared to take on more responsibility.

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