July 11, 2013 — Patients in the United States who want to communicate with healthcare providers via an online portal indicate they would eagerly embrace the ability to download and share medical images and radiology reports with their physicians, according to a study of 1,000 adults conducted by IDR Medical.
“More than one third of study participants are already booking appointments, emailing physicians, paying bills or obtaining lab results using an online portal. Over half of those surveyed also had obtained copies of their medical images, but only 7 percent received those images electronically, via an email or a portal,” said Cristine Kao, Carestream’s global marketing director for healthcare information solutions.
Medical imaging studies and reports have traditionally been output to CD/DVDs, film or paper for patient use. The survey indicated 85 percent of respondents would like to have Internet-based access to their medical images and reports to share with other physicians, and to provide a more convenient way for them to access and store their records and their children’s records.
While age often is perceived as a hurdle to technology adoption, the survey demonstrates that only the oldest age group (71+) showed less enthusiasm to use the portal — but even in this age group 59.5 percent of respondents were very likely to use the portal solution.
Providing patients with secure and easy access to their imaging results also impacts both satisfaction and an overall return rate: 79 percent of patients felt that if they had access to their images they would be more likely to return to that same facility and 76 percent indicated they would recommend the imaging facility to a friend.
Survey responses included:
· “I would be excited if my doctor offered this portal for my imaging results.”· “I am very involved in my healthcare and I would love to have access to all of my medical images.”
· “Having electronic access to my X-ray exams would help me keep track of my own records and make it easier for my doctors to share my medical imaging information.”
· “The portal would make records much easier for me to manage and store than CDs and paper—and it allows more flexibility.”
Carestream Health commissioned the study to evaluate general patient opinions about using online portals.
For more information: www.carestream.com