Healthcare's digital divide is getting bigger and other bad news from Black Book

The firm also found that tech illiteracy is the next roadblock to achieving population health success.
By Bernie Monegain
09:34 AM

In spite of all the newest and greatest technology available to nurses, doctors, hospital systems – and consumers – across the country, the digital divide is not only stubborn but it’s also growing wider.

That’s according to research firm Black Book, which asked 12,090 consumers to evaluate the technology they were exposed to, know of or interacted with as an active patient in the last 12 months.

The result? Fifty-seven percent of consumers with access to hospital, physician or ancillary provider’s technology in 2016 indicated being skeptical of the overall benefits of technologies such as patient portals, mobile apps and electronic health records.

The survey, "Healthcare's Digital Divide Widens," showed that recent data hacking and a perceived lack of privacy protection by healthcare providers played a role in consumer attitude concerning healthcare technology. The Black Book report showed that patient adoption of healthcare technology dropped over the past year.

[Healthcare IT News survey: The year ahead in health information technology]

Black Book also found that the fear of breaches translated to consumers being hesitant to share information. Eighty-seven person of consumers surveyed indicated they would hesitate to share their information.

The unwillingness of patients to comprehensively divulge all their medical information rose to 87 percent in Q4 2016.

Black Book found respondents especially alarmed that their prescriptions, mental health notes, and chronic conditions were being shared not only with their healthcare provider, but also with retailers, employers, and the government without their knowledge.

Black Book found this year that 70 percent of Americans distrust health technology, indicating a steep climb from 10 percent in 2014.

Among Black Book’s key findings are incomplete patient records that raise questions about analytics. Other concerns raised include overworked nurses, especially in small hospitals where it’s more difficult for both providers and nurses to find time or have the training for patient portals and other engagement technology.

Then there are the physicians who are overwhelmed with too much information.

94 percent of physicians responding to the provider section of the survey found the amount of data overwhelming, redundant and unlikely to make a clinical difference, Black Book reports.

Black Book concluded that patient technology illiteracy is the next roadblock to achieving population health success. 

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
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