A Glimpse Into Patient-Provider Communication

A Glimpse Into Patient-Provider Communication
July 1, 2021
Akash Patel

As recently as the early 1980s, only 25% of households had a computer at home. In 2021, this figure is estimated as exceeding 92%. It is theorized that with more and more households owning home computers, the younger U.S. age groups have had early exposure and thus higher computer literacy. This is illustrated by 99% of adults between the age of 18 and 29 years old and 75% of adults 65 years old and above having a basic understanding of internet access. Furthermore, 96% of people between the age of 18 and 29 years old and 61% of adults 65 years old and above own a smartphone.

This lag between age groups, although closing year-by-year, is important because the highest age group of hospitalization was 65 years and older at 17%. Therefore, it is important for physicians to find a way to communicate in a method that is understood by all patients AND their families. Physicians mostly find EHRs helpful as they typically increase patient satisfaction and keep them connected with patients and their caregivers. Before EHRs, all patient communication had to occur in-person or on the telephone which was limited by physician availability. A study analyzing patient portals which typically accompany EHRs found that 51% of patients saved time scheduling an appointment and 48% avoided a clinic visit. However, ease-of-use among patients varies from 60-85% depending on the patient portal assessed. Due to patient portals typically being tethered to specific health systems, patients report common additional features they want to see such as portability of their medical records and having simpler, easier to understand notes. Consequently, there still exists some deficits in patient-provider digital communication.

Tell Health improves healthcare technology access and usability by mimicking various messaging platforms that patients prefer and are familiar with such as Facebook Messenger. It is a mobile application that links you with your healthcare providers and lets you share health information and notes with your family and caregivers so they can stay involved in your care. At Tell Health, we know access to healthcare technology is still limited among many communities, but we hope to mediate that with our easy-to-use mobile solution. At the end of the day, our team knows that healthcare deserves to be centered around the patient and their family.