In today’s fast-paced world, patients want to look after themselves, but life’s responsibilities often get in the way.

Whether it involves taking time off work, having sick children at home or travelling on the go, circumstances can sometimes impact when and how a patient can get in to see a doctor for non-urgent health issues.

Telehealth is shaping up to play a major role in the provision of healthcare. With this in mind, HealthEngine recently surveyed more than 1000 patients and 44 GPs to find out how often patients neglect their health because making and attending an appointment is inconvenient to their situation, and to gauge interest in online messaging options.

Just over one-third (34 per cent) of patients surveyed admitted they delay going to see their GP because making a face-to-face appointment is inconvenient.

Of this group, 72 per cent wait for their symptoms to become worse before actually making an appointment.

Over half of patients who admitted they delay seeing their GP, do so by a few weeks – or even months.

Conversely, 90 per cent of doctors surveyed believe there are health issues which could have been more easily managed had their patients come to see them sooner.

Just over 4 in 10 patients (43 per cent) claimed they see multiple GPs, with 13 per cent saying they don’t actually have a regular GP.

Availability is the main reason patients say they will opt to see a different GP to their regular one, compared with GP perceptions that location is the primary cause. Cost also ranked as a lower consideration for patients compared with GP perceptions.

Four in five GPs surveyed believe there are consults that do not require face-to-face interaction, while most patients indicated they would interact with their GP more often if it were convenient to do so.

We live in an on-demand world. Patients want different and more tech-savvy methods of communicating with their GP.

Almost a quarter of patients surveyed said they would pay to be able to securely send and receive messages with their GP for non-urgent healthcare issues.

With a significant proportion of people admitting they neglect their health because seeing their GP in person can be a hassle, telehealth services can provide the benefit of convenient and direct access to their GP.

The question now becomes, how will GPs respond to the changing demands of patients?

HealthEngine is looking for GPs interested in being among the first in Australia to offer direct doctor-patient chat. The benefits include:

  • Offering continuity of care – give patients better, more convenient healthcare that will keep them coming back
  • Increasing value – keep valuable face-to-face consultation time for your patients who need it most
  • Unlocking revenue – you choose how much to charge while HealthEngine facilitates billing so there’s no chasing up of payments
  • Maintaining control – you decide which patients can access the service and what types of topics are suitable for messaging.

Get in touch today and help shape the future of Australian healthcare.