Young Patients Want to Connect with Doctors Using Technology

Physicians looking to better manage the care of patients age 18-26 should turn to technology to connect with this often elusive patient population, according to an American Academy of Family Physicians survey.

The survey found that 68% of these patients are likely or very likely to use email communication with their doctor, which could help practices develop long-term patient relationships early.

Patient Benefits
“Young adults want to establish an ongoing relationship with a primary care physician,” Roland Goertz, MD, MBA, president of the AAFP said in a statement. “By setting this foundation of care, they are building toward a healthy future.”

Young adults are increasingly turning to social networking sites, email and instant messages to contact and stay in touch with each other, so making your practice available to your patients where they are comfortable communicating can improve patient experiences and outcomes.

The benefits of embracing technology extend beyond helping young patients; it can also lead to less work for you and your staff.

Provider Benefits
According to the survey, 72% of young adults are likely or very likely to utilize online scheduling and 79% are likely or very likely to use e prescribing, which could help reduce tedious tasks for your team.

With 36% of young adults responding “I only go to the doctor if I am extremely sick,” it’s not surprising that same-day appoints were likely or very likely to be utilized by 83% of those surveyed.

“The good news for these young people is that those services are increasingly part of family physicians’ practices,” Roland Goertz, MD, MBA, president of the AAFP, said in a statement.

“Sixty-two percent of family physicians do provide same-day appointments and 30 percent correspond with patients via e-mail. The percentage of family physicians who provide online appointments has tripled since 2005.”

Providing same-day appointments that can be scheduled online could become an easy way for your practice to increase revenue with minimal labor costs.

Patient-Centered Care
Most of these convenience features are part of the shift to the patient-centered medical home model of care, where primary care physicians utilize the latest technologies to build an ongoing relationship with patients to provide better health care at a lower cost.

Ultimately, physicians who are leveraging technology to connect to their patients are able to build better relationships and deliver an improved standard of care – regardless of the patient’s age.

How is your practice utilizing technology to better serve your patients? Post below and let us know.