Consumers' Expectations Regarding Healthcare Experience
Four additional most desired elements/expectations of US consumers regarding their healthcare experience with providers and/or insurers are quality of customer service, price transparency, availability of non-traditional services, and improve patient education.
QUALITY CUSTOMER SERVICE
- With increasing healthcare expenses and costly insurance premiums, many patients are demanding high-quality care.
- According to Doctor.com's study, 86% of patients considered quality customer service to be a vital part of their healthcare experience and the most crucial element to earning a 5-star review for providers.
- As per the study, 82% of patients believe that receiving "quality customer service ranks as the most important factor" of gaining their loyalty.
- Seventy percent of patients surveyed consider that good patient communication and engagement such as reminders and follow-ups are also key to perfect patient/customer experience, with 42% stating that this also influences their loyalty and the likelihood of returning to the same provider.
- According to Review Tracker reports, one key factor that contributes to patient satisfaction is excellent customer service. Healthcare consumers care more about this "than the level of medical skills."
- Furthermore, adopting a customer-centric approach in delivering care drives healthcare consumer's expectation. This can be done from "initial contact, through the process of engagement, to post-transactional interactions and long-term relationships."
- According to McKinsey's Consumer Health Insights study, affordability is one of the most pressing concerns by US consumers when it comes to their healthcare.
- From the study, 29% of the respondents answered that they have difficulty with comprehending basic medical cost, 25% do not understand their bill, while 28% of the respondents cannot determine whether their treatment is covered.
- According to the Accenture patient survey, 46% of respondents say that they require the price transparency for their budget planning purposes, while 49% of respondents state that "they knew their estimated out-of-pocket costs prior to seeing a medical professional," and only 25% were well-informed by their providers.
- The burden of seeking cost and price information was shouldered by the patient and thus, impacting the accuracy of cost estimates.
- Financial education and payment discussion are some critical elements in a patient's healthcare experience.
- 41% of respondents state that they are concerned with their ability to pay for medical services, with 11% saying that price comparison is a factor for providers.
- If patients know the price and cost of medical care they seek, 60% would be likely to proceed to get the care. This shows that improving financial education and support could make patients stick to with their healthcare planning.
AVAILABILITY OF NON-TRADITIONAL SERVICES
- According to the Accenture study, younger consumers dissatisfied with the existing state of healthcare, and currently, they are willing to try non-traditional services.
- Non-traditional healthcare could be virtual care and retail walk-in clinics which are rapidly gaining popularity as of today.
- As per the survey, 29% of the respondents state that they have already used some form of virtual care, a significant increase from only 21% in 2017.
- Walk-in and/or retail clinics are now going mainstream with a penetration rate of 47%.
- Many of the respondents who haven't experienced virtual care or retail walk-in clinics show a willingness to use this kind of service.
- Another survey conducted by MedicineNet verifies this. It shows that 40% of adults aged 25-29 and 15% of adults 65 years and older have been using retail clinics.
- Both studies show that affordability, quality, and accessibility are factors that drive the growth of these non-traditional services.
IMPROVED PATIENT EDUCATION
- To improve patient's health, one can effectively manage it if they are aware of their "own personal health metrics and goals." Unfortunately, many patients suffering from chronic conditions do not have a full understanding of the complexity of their condition.
- According to the West survey, 27% of patients feel that their healthcare team does not educate them on what their health metrics should be.
- That's why 96% of respondents state that healthcare providers should improve their ongoing efforts of educating the patients with their condition and how to manage their health.
- A face-to-face appointment or counseling is a good start, and it is vital for the patients to have proper communication with healthcare team in-between appointments.
- On a survey of diabetic patients, 23% of respondents believe that their "healthcare provider does a poor job communicating about health metrics."
- According to a McKinsey survey, many healthcare consumers want to "make informed choices about the care they receive" to address their needs.
We leveraged different healthcare-related studies and surveys to find the most desired elements/expectations of US consumers regarding their healthcare experience with providers and/or insurers from credible sources such as Deloitte, Accenture, McKinsey, and other similar sources. While there were many studies/surveys found relevant to request topic, many elements and expectations found were of similar findings where they predominantly relate to digital services and convenience. Due to this, no pre-compiled information found ranking which different elements/expectations are most desired by healthcare consumers, and additionally, excluding the two vital elements: digital services and convenience, the information became limited. In order to answer this information, we looked for other elements/expectations that are not related to digital services and convenience without any ranks of which were most desired. However, since the answers were mentioned in different sources, we can safely assume that aside from convenience and digital services, these four are of vital and significant elements/expectations desired by US health consumers