Health care reform, specifically the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, is transforming the way patients and doctors will interact as our healthcare system digitizes health information. For cancer patients, new technology will give them easier access to their medical records and personalized health information when it’s most relevant so they can be more engaged in their care. But do patients want to be more engaged?

Seattle based Navigating Cancer surveyed 295 cancer patients and found the majority, 72%, was interested in using personalized tools and resources to manage their care. Specifically, 77% were interested in reading cancer education materials from expert sources, and 74% were interested in having online access to their medical records.

Online help
Not surprisingly, activities that require more energy from patients received less enthusiasm with 47% interested in recording their symptoms and side effects during treatment in an online health journal, and 46% interested in using an online guide to help them plan for doctor visits. However, this data demonstrates that nearly half of patients see value in these activities and are willing to take a more active role in their care, even when they are dealing with a debilitating illness.

Easier to engage
“Our survey confirms that cancer patients want to be engaged in their care and are comfortable using online technology to do so,” said Navigating Cancer CEO, Gena Cook. “We’re committed to working with oncologists to develop technology that makes it easier for patients to be engaged in meaningful ways so they can receive better quality care.”

For more information:
Patient Engagement Survey Results

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