Extending and Enhancing Patient Care Beyond the Office with Patient Portals
By Dan Lodder, M.B.A
We live in an age when anytime, anywhere access to information has become the norm. From banking to personal contacts, more people are using their computers, phones and tablets to access critical information whenever and however they want. Even members of the older generation, who have historically been late adopters of technology compared to their younger counterparts, have become more tech savvy. As evidence, in 2014 the Pew Research Center released data indicating that nearly 60 percent of America’s seniors go online. That’s up from just 14 percent in 2000, and likely even higher as we mover closer to 2016.
This willingness of people of all ages to use technology to conveniently self manage their personal information has also made its way into healthcare. Just a few months ago, My Care PlusSM, a secure online patient portal from McKesson Specialty Health, reached a new level of patient participation with more than 250,000 cancer patients across the nation now using the portal to take a more active role in their healthcare (Figure 1). Just as impressive, 40 percent of traffic to the site is through mobile devices, a further indication that patients are managing their information anytime and anywhere.
Figure 1. Growth of patient use over the last five years for McKesson’s My Care PlusSM