Pushed in part by the need for budget efficiencies, healthcare facilities are increasingly moving towards scenarios in which patients are expected to take ownership of more facets of their prep and recovery related to an array of procedures. New data shared by the market research firm Black Book suggests there is high consumer distrust of the digital tools practitioners count on to keep patients on task with treatment.
Black Book conducted a national panel poll to tease out consumer views of the technology they interacted with as active patients. The survey was conducted from September to December 2016 and focused on those who’d interacted with medical technology as a patient at some point during the preceding 12 months.
In total, the survey include 12,090 adult consumers.
The poll found that 70 percent of consumers expressed a general distrust in health technology. And astonishingly high numbers of respondents were suspicious that their personal information was being shared well beyond the scope of the healthcare field, winding up in the hands of employers or the government. Specifically, 90 percent were worried about pharmacy prescriptions being shared and a whopping 99 percent fretted over mental health notes getting out.
The natural, problematic result of these concerns is that patients withhold information, potentially compromising care. Of those surveyed, 89 percent reported omitting details when talking with physicians.
Additional risk arises from patient struggles with the medical technology they’re expected to use after leaving the hospital. The problems increase for those discharged from hospitals under 200 beds, largely because staffing limitations prevent adequate training for the patients. In the survey, 92 percent of patients reported difficulty either understanding the technological instructions they were given or simply using the patient portals.
There’s also high skepticism about the capabilities of healthcare professionals to keep the information properly protected. In the survey, 69 percent of respondents said they believed their primary care physician doesn’t exhibit a satisfying facility with the technology being used, and 84 percent said their overall trust in a physician is impacted by views of their technological prowess.
In analyzing the results, Black Book CEO Douglas Brown suggests that healthcare facilities have a high motivation to address these consumer worries and work to instill greater confidence in the technology.
“Incomplete medical histories and undisclosed conditions, treatment or medications raises obvious concerns on the reliability and usefulness of patient health data in application of risk based analytics, care plans, modeling, payment reforms, and population health programming,” Brown said in a statement. “This revelation should force cybersecurity solutions to the top of the technology priorities in 2017 to achieve tangible trust in big data dependability.”