Survey: 43 percent of millennials want access to patient portals on their smartphones

By Aditi Pai
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Healthcare Portals: Millennials and Baby Boomers Engage in Unique WaysForty three percent of millennials prefer to access patient portals on their smartphones, according to a Harris Poll survey conducted online for Xerox in September. Harris Poll surveyed 2,017 consumers for the survey. Some were millennials, aged 18 to 34 and some were baby boomers, aged 55 to 64.

In the group surveyed, 1,250 do not use online patient portals and 767 do.

Of the respondents that don't use online patient portals, 57 percent of consumers said they would be more interested in using them if the portals gave them online access to their medical records.

“With providers facing regulatory changes, mounting costs, and patients who increasingly seek access to more information, our survey points to an opportunity to address issues by simply opening dialogue with patients about patient portals,” Xerox's Commercial Healthcare Chief Innovation Officer Tamara St. Claire said in a statement. “Educating patients will empower them to participate more fully in their own care while helping providers demonstrate that electronic health records are being used in a meaningful way.”

Within the group of consumers that said they do not use patient portals, 35 percent said they weren't aware a patient portal was available. Of those who did use patient portals, 59 percent said they have been much more interested in their personal healthcare since they began using it.

The survey also broke down the needs of millennials and baby boomers when it comes to patient portals.

Fifty seven percent of millennials want to access medical records more than any other information that could be available in a patient portal. Forty four percent of millennials want to be able to view personalized recommendations to improve their health and another 44 percent want to access information about additional services their doctor offers. Just 23 percent said they want to receive industry news about health topics that they've expressed an interest in.

On the other hand, 56 percent of baby boomers said they would be more engaged in their care if their medical information was online. Eighty three percent of baby boomers said they either already interact with healthcare providers through a patient portal or would like to. In this group, 70 percent said they do or would schedule appointments through a patient portal, 64 percent said they do or would access medical records, 60 percent do or would ask their physicians questions, and 58 percent do or would order prescription refills.