New survey reveals 80 percent of employees research medical decisions while at work; half make decisions without the right informationconsumermed
Survey points to shortcomings in the current system that impact employee productivity and costs
PEMBROKE, MA — A new survey of American workers employed at mid and large size companies reveals many believe they don’t have the information they need to make an informed medical decision, and the vast majority spend at least part of their work days trying to get the health information they need.
Seventy-two percent of those surveyed reported they had spent time researching a health issue and medical decision for themselves or a family member during the last year, and the average employee spent six hours of their workday on this research.
“This survey confirms what we have long suspected,” explains David Hines, CEO of Consumer Medical who funded the survey, “that consumers want, but don’t have, the information they need to make healthcare decisions – especially when it comes to big decisions like cancer treatment or surgery. Moreover, doing the leg work to find answers interferes with their ability to be productive employees.”
The survey also found that one in five people don’t trust the information provided by their doctor, and 42 percent believe they’ve lacked the essential information they needed to make a medical decision in the past.
“It is disheartening but not surprising,” says Cristie Upshaw Travis, CEO, Memphis Business Group on Health, of the findings. “Health benefits exist because employers want to keep workforces healthy, but at the same time, employees themselves clearly struggle to understand what care they need and how to make informed decisions.”
The survey also queried employees about their concerns regarding healthcare costs.
“Today’s health plan designs put employees squarely in the driver’s seat, requiring them to be incredibly savvy consumers of healthcare,” explains Hines. “Yet at the same time, this survey points to the fact that many consumers are negotiating the healthcare roadways simply without the information and support they need to make good decisions about their care.”
A summary of the survey, including methodology and findings is available here.
ConsumerMedical™ is a pioneer in treatment decision support programs, offering trusted clinical expertise, personalized research, expert opinion, physician quality identification and concierge health support to empower individuals to make educated decisions about their health and healthcare. The company’s guided patient support services help consumers answer the five most important questions in healthcare: What do I have? What do I need? Where do I go? What does it cost? and How do I cope? For 20 years, the company has provided employees and their dependents with the personalized information and support they need to navigate the healthcare system and become more confident healthcare consumers. To learn more, visit www.consumermedical.com/.