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Want to reach your doc? Many Americans would use email or text — but can’t

The Washington Post

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The digital technology that many Americans use in often very busy lives — in banking, shopping, traveling, communicating — still plays but a bit role when it comes to their health care.

According to a Nielsen survey released Tuesday, most people can’t use email, texting and other tools to share medical information with their doctors, much less receive the same, because many providers don’t offer such access.

The survey, conducted on behalf of two health policy groups, polled more than 5,000 Americans ages 18-65 on their attitudes and use of technology to manage their medical care. Only 21 percent have access to online appointment scheduling with their doctors; just 15 percent use email to communicate with their provider; only 9 percent receive reminders by text…

The council is a coalition of more than two dozen medical and health systems, including Cleveland Clinic, Geisinger Health system and Mayo Clinic. The survey was commissioned by the council and the Bipartisan Policy Center, a nonprofit founded by former Senate majority leaders.

The two organizations are holding a panel discussion Wednesday at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health in Washington to discuss how digital technology can improve care and the patient experience.