Patient Engagement

Unsatisfied Patients Turn to the Internet

AHIMA Foundation Study
Image Credit: AHIMA Foundation

According to a new study from the AHIMA Foundation and Kelton Global, there is a large disconnect between the information shared by doctors and their patients’ understanding of it.

This communication breakdown leaves patients confused about how to proceed, prompting many to turn to other resources to feel more in control of their health.

  • The survey was distributed to a nationally representative sample of US adults in August 2021 (n=1,059), finding that 76% of Americans “do not leave their doctor’s office on a positive note,” due in part to lacking clear answers to questions (24%) or not having the chance to ask any questions (17%). 
  • After these visits, 62% of Americans are “not extremely confident” in their understanding of information discussed with their doctor, while 15% admit feeling more confused about their health than they did before their appointment.
  • As a result, 80% of Americans research medical recommendations online following an appointment, reporting that they are confident the information on the internet is credible (86%) and that it allows them to feel more confident in their doctor’s recommendations (35%).

The Solution

The researchers conclude that having access to a complete picture of your own health, whether through a doctor’s visit or internet research, is the key to seeing better health outcomes. Most Americans seem to agree, with 81% of survey respondents saying that if they had access to all their health information, such as medical records and test results, they’d see at least one improvement in their health management.

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