Modern communications increases the efficiency of healthcare services

Increased efficiency, lower costs and better service – this is what approximately 5,500 people responded in Telia’s Trendspotting Survey when they were asked what they thought would be the result if modern communication services were used in the healthcare sector in Sweden. The survey confirms that the Swedish people are ready for modern communications with health and medical services both as patients and as family members.

The respondents in Telia’s survey were positive towards using modern communications in their contacts with medical services. Eighty-six percent wanted to be able to make a doctor’s appointment on the Internet and 80 percent also wanted to be able to receive information about medical treatment on the Web. Seventy-six percent agreed that they would like to receive a reminder about a doctor’s appointment by SMS. Their main reasons for wanting to communicate with health and medical care facilities by such services as SMS messaging and e-mail was that it was faster (64 percent), simpler (70 percent) and that they would avoid waiting in queues at healthcare centres (83 percent). Women were especially positive toward communicating with services through new channels as a simpler way to get in touch with various medical services.

A large percentage (78 percent) also felt that modern communications would result in lower patient care costs, improve service (86 percent) and give patients greater freedom of choice (85 percent).

In five years, doctor’s appointments are made online
When respondents in the survey look to the future, they believe that almost all appointments with doctors will be made online over the Web in five years. They also believe it will be possible to receive information by SMS about the waiting times for operations.

“It is clear that the Swedish people are ready to use modern communication services in their contacts with personnel in the medical service and patient care sectors,” says Marie Ehrling, head of TeliaSonera Sweden. “Persons who will receive care in the future will also be used to employing modern communication services and they will demand that we continue to develop and simplify communications with and within the care sector.”

E-mail with nursing homes – for family members and personnel
In the survey, 71 percent of the respondents wanted already today to be able to e-mail elderly care facilities or home-help services that provide care for a family member. Fifty-seven percent also wanted to be able to communicate by e-mail with family members and friends who are in-patients at nursing homes. Web cameras are also popular (28 percent), for example, for facilitating long-distance contacts when people live far away from family members in care facilities.

About Telia’s Trendspotting Survey 2006
In this survey, Telia has polled 5,619 people in Sweden about the use of modern communication services in the health and medical care sector. All of Sweden is represented. The respondents are customers of Telia. The survey was conducted from January 31, 2006 to February 3, 2006.