HealthFebruary 15, 2023

Wolters Kluwer survey reveals two-thirds of patients still have questions after healthcare visits

African American woman viewing a tablet.
While preferring answers from providers, more than half of respondents in U.S. survey likely to seek answers through internet searches or social media content.

While Americans increasingly access health information online, a new survey commissioned by Wolters Kluwer Health reveals that most would prefer to receive educational materials directly from a trusted, expert source – their own healthcare providers. The survey found that two-thirds (66%) of patients have questions after a provider encounter and one in five patients (19%) has new questions following the appointment. The research found that patients are eager to receive educational materials from their providers, but when left without those resources, patients turn to unvetted sources of information including website articles, peer recommendations, and social media.

Patients demand trusted, reliable health information

While more than half of respondents (63%) reported that they routinely receive provider-offered educational materials to help answer their questions, almost a third of patients (32%) are not offered any. However, 94% of respondents stated they would likely access these materials if they were provided.

Evidence shows that treatment adherence and outcomes are improved when patients are active participants in their own care, but ready access to evidence-based patient education content between visits is a critical gap in healthcare today. We have a long history of delivering trusted clinical content like UpToDate® and Emmi. And now with resources like UpToDate and Emmi, it is more accessible than ever, to empower hospitals, health plans, and other members of the healthcare ecosystem to provide the credible, reliable educational resources to help patients take a role in managing their health.
Jason Burum, Vice President and General Manager, Healthcare Provider Segment for Clinical Effectiveness at Wolters Kluwer

One in ten patients reported their health encounters have been mostly or entirely virtual over the past two years. More patients, especially Millennials and Gen Z, now use digital healthcare like telehealth. Ongoing engagement with providers and the sharing of vigorously vetted patient education content is crucial to ensure all patients can access the best possible care, including outside of traditional face-to-face visits.

Providers benefit from consistent engagement with patients

When supporting content is shared with them, patients have a better experience and are more satisfied with their care. 68% said they are more likely to return to a provider that offers educational materials in the future.

Moreover, almost half of patients believe that access to educational materials would reduce the number of follow-up questions they have – indicating significant time savings for providers and minimizing the need for patients to turn to unreliable information from other sources. As some healthcare systems turn to charging patients for patient portal messages to manage physician workload, a reduction in question volume could represent a better experience for both providers and patients.

The survey, conducted by CITE Research and commissioned by Wolters Kluwer Health, included 1,034 U.S. adults, 18 and older who had seen a doctor within the last 12 months. The survey was conducted online in November 2022.

Wolters Kluwer offers multiple solutions that help providers, health plans, and digital health technology firms easily embed evidence-based health education content within the patient experience.

Emmi, the market leading Patient Engagement solution recently ranked #1 by KLAS delivers trusted patient education videos and leaflets right in the workflow. Emmi solutions encourage better-informed, more cost-effective healthcare choices, promote compliance with preventive care and treatment recommendations, and advance medication adherence to help improve outcomes and reduce readmissions. Digital and Virtual care companies can offer educational content, videos, and more delivered through web services and APIs for easy integration and flexibility through Digital Health Architect.

Learn More About the Survey

About Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer (EURONEXT: WKL) is a global leader in information, software solutions and services for professionals in healthcare; tax and accounting; financial and corporate compliance; legal and regulatory; corporate performance and ESG. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with technology and services.

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