Patients want providers to deliver a great experience, and they don’t hesitate to walk away from those who don’t measure up. That’s according to our global survey of nearly 6,000 healthcare consumers: 82% said they would switch providers as a result of a bad experience.
The survey uncovers insights into what patients expect from healthcare professionals and how they want to participate in those relationships (hint: patients want individualized attention across all channels). Below are five critical findings providers should keep in mind as they transform to meet and exceed patient expectations for service, communication, and trust.
Patients prioritize good customer support over anything else, with 77% saying it’s very important. That makes sense, given accessing appropriate treatment, right away, can make all the difference in getting the best possible health outcomes. Patients want providers to be responsive, fully informed, and proactive with readily available details of their healthcare records — such as information on an upcoming procedure — when responding to questions or concerns. And they appreciate when providers continue to engage them: Two-thirds want follow-ups on their progress and potential outcomes.
The majority of patients (61%) say it’s very important for providers to offer easy access to healthcare records and data. Patients want the ability to look up the results of their blood tests or read their MRI reports, and a simple way to double-check the date and time of their next appointments. Yet more than half say they don’t know how to access their comprehensive health records. Healthcare providers must work toward making patient information much more accessible.
Many patients devote significant time and effort into understanding their symptoms or conditions even before they visit a doctor. In fact, our survey revealed that patients believe they will receive better care if they first conduct their own research. That’s particularly the case for younger generations: over half of millennials and Gen Z consumers have asked a provider about a medication based on their own research.
Organizations should embrace patient efforts to be better advocates for themselves and engage in respectful, informative dialogue with those who consult “Dr. Google” first. Even better, when a patient reaches out with a symptom or for an appointment, providers can proactively send educational materials to help patients learn more.
A lot can stand in the way of patients achieving their best possible health outcomes — including access to care, transportation, and even mental/emotional well-being. These factors are referred to as social determinants of health. Forty-two percent of patients reported life circumstances have caused them to miss an appointment with a provider.
When providers are aware of a patient’s social determinants of health, they can tailor a plan of care that ensures the best chance of success with their treatments. With access to this information in every interaction, providers can adjust for a patient’s need for transportation or childcare, for example, without which they might miss their blood test or physical therapy session.
Healthcare consumers trust their providers (81%) over any other player in the healthcare and life sciences industries. But there’s still room for improvement, and greater trust could open up new ways for information to flow to providers. The top way providers can bolster patients’ trust is to follow up on progress or outcomes.
Consider the percentage of healthcare consumers who would share the following with providers if it would improve their quality of care (assuming security and transparency for all data usage):
By sharing more information with providers, patients can take control of their health and wellness. The opportunity for healthcare organizations to deliver an improved experience and truly engage with their patients is here. What are we waiting for?
Find out what else matters to patients and learn more about their experiences with insurance, medical device companies, and pharmaceutical companies in the Connected Healthcare Consumer Report.