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Nuance Survey Reveals Patients Value Technology, but not at the Expense of Time and Engagement with Clinicians

Data from 3,000 respondents across U.S., UK and Germany reveals high expectations for patient-clinician relations when it comes to quality medical care

LONDON, UK, March 30, 2015 –The healthcare industry has made great strides in finding new technologies to help patients stay engaged in their health and interact with clinicians. A 3,000-person survey conducted by Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) across the U.S., UK and Germany found that while 97% of patients are comfortable with technology in healthcare, the clinician-patient relationship plays a primary role in the overall patient experience and keeping people satisfied and invested in their health.

Nuance’s survey, “Healthcare from the Patient Perspective,” revealed the importance of clinicians establishing a personal connection with patients through eye contact, a handshake, 1:1 conversation and privacy in the exam room. Technology is seen as an enhancement, and should play a supporting role.

Differing Opinions on Technology in the Hands of Clinicians

According to a 2013 RAND Corporation study, clinicians believe technology challenges are to blame for most of their frustrations, with 43 percent feeling electronic patient records (EPRs) slow them down and 36 percent reporting EPRs interfere with face-to-face care. However, in Nuance’s study, virtually all patients report they are comfortable with their clinician using technology during a consultation and 58 percent believe this technology positively impacts their overall experience especially when used collaboratively to educate or explain.

Dr. Ivan Camphor, Senior Partner at Heatherlands Medical Centre and medical secretary of mid Mersey LMC, said: “The electronic patient record and mandated regulatory documentation requires clinicians to spend much more time on the computer allowing them less time to spend with their patients. This has a very negative effect on the patients who want the clinician to spend more time with them and actually have eye contact with them, not with the computer.”

At the heart of the visit, patients agree on the top things clinicians cannot ignore when it comes to quality medical care:

  • 73 percent say “time for discussion;”
  • 66 percent say “verbal communication of specific recommendations;”
  • The third-most important factor varies by region
        • Patients in Germany choose privacy in the exam room, while patients in the U.S. and UK value eye contact with clinicians.

The Cost of medical secretaries

Using medical secretaries to alleviate the time and documentation challenges of entering data in EPRs may come at a cost. In this survey, 95 percent of patients report they are completely honest with their clinicians today, but concerns over privacy topped the charts. Solutions that preserve the clinician-patient relationship and enable providers to increase productivity while keeping their focus and eyes on the patient are likely to support a better patient experience.

“Patient engagement is more than just the buzzword of the moment – it’s a key to unlocking a healthier population and fixing some of the widening cracks of the healthcare system,” said Frederik Brabant, Nuance’s CMIO. “As this survey shows, the relationship between clinicians and their patients is paramount in truly achieving engagement with patients in ways that matter most to them”

Clinician-Patient Engagement

According to this survey, more than a third of patients spend less than 10 minutes with their clinician during an average visit. This leaves both patients and clinicians tight on time – with 40 percent of patients feeling rushed during appointments.

To help counter the limited time with their clinicians, patients are seeking information and embracing technology outside of the doctor’s office to come to appointments prepared. Approximately 80 percent of patients feel engaged in their own health;

  • 68 percent of patients bring a list of questions to each doctor’s consult;
  • 39 percent have checked WebMD or another online source in advance; and
  • 20 percent bring personal health data from outside monitors.

*This question was a multi-selection response

This survey demonstrates patients are comfortable with the growing role health IT is playing in their care experience when it is in a supporting role. Nuance commissioned the “Healthcare from the Patient Perspective” survey to ensure that clinicians, providers and healthcare technology developers understand the patients’ perspective on physicians’ use of health IT when balanced with the Art of Medicine.

Nuance has also commissioned UK research into the accuracy and completeness of clinical documentation accompanying the patient through the healthcare system impacting upon a patient’s experience and outcomes. Due to be published in May 2015, interested parties can find out more and pre-order the full research report at

About Nuance Communications, Inc.

Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) is a leading provider of voice and language solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with devices and systems. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications. For more information, please Connect with Nuance on social media through the healthcare blog, What’s next, as well as Twitter and Facebook.

Nuance and the Nuance logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Nuance Communications, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other company names or product names may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

The statements in this press release relating to future plans, events or services, are forward-looking statements which are subject to specific risks and uncertainties. There are a number of factors which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those indicated in such forward looking statements, including fluctuations in demand for the Nuance products, and the continued development of Nuance products. The reader is warned not to rely on these forward-looking statements without reservation, since these are simply reflections of the current situation. Nuance disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this document.

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