265359 Medicare beneficiaries use of online healthcare services in an integrated healthcare organization

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 8:30 AM - 8:42 AM

Jill Allen, PhD , Internet Services Group, Kaiser Permanente, Pleasanton, CA
Valerie Sue, PhD , Internet Services Group, Kaiser Permanente, Pleasanton, CA
Background: The Internet provides unprecedented access to health information, clinical services and e-connectivity with health care providers; however, prevailing evidence suggests that the adoption of these services is not uniform across all demographic groups. Although seniors are enthusiastic consumers of health information, previous research indicates that they have been slow to adopt online health. Recent evidence points to a digital divide, impeding those most in need of care from accessing services. By contrast, data from a large integrated health plan demonstrate that seniors are embracing the full-range of online health offerings and are among the most active users of the plan's website. Objective: To describe Medicare beneficiaries use of the personal health record (PHR) and healthy living features on the plan's website. Methods: Website usage data and an online survey of the plan's Medicare beneficiaries provided the foundation for these analyses. Results: More than 50% of the plan's Medicare beneficiaries were registered to use the website; registration was coupled with frequent use of the site. The PHR features most frequently accessed were: appointment scheduling, e-mails to physicians, online lab test results and online prescription refill. Patients who have the greatest need for services were the most frequent users of PHR features; those who were the most health engaged were the highest users of non-PHR features. Discussion: This research demonstrates that seniors will adopt and use online health services. Implications for improved health outcomes as a result of greater website utilization are discussed.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the features of a health care website that are used most frequently by senior members. 2. Explain the relationships among health engagement, need for services, perceived usefulness and ease of use in predicting site utilization and satisfaction.

Keywords: Aging, Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I am one of the primary investigators on this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.