69% of patients would switch providers for better services

Report shows public’s desire for more convenience and empathy

A survey of Americans shows that even though many might be happy with their current doctor, 69% would consider switching to another provider that offers more appealing services.

The services that could inspire people to switch include the availability of same-day appointments for non-routine issues (35%), convenient locations where they already go (30%), and self-scheduling (29%). More than four in five Americans (81%) believe the ability to schedule health care appointments online would make the scheduling process much easier and more than three quarters (79%) want the ability to use technology when managing their health care experience.

These and other findings are highlighted in a new report commissioned by Tegria, the healthcare technology consulting and services company. The survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll among more than 2,000 U.S. adults regarding their feelings about scheduling and meeting with a new physician for the first time, using related technology and preferences for their overall healthcare experience.

The report authors state that physicians need to change now or watch as others who do a better job at offering convenience and customer service take over their roles as community caregivers. 61% of Americans say they would like their health care experience to be more like the customer experience of an online convenience service app, such as Amazon Prime or Uber.

Additional findings from the survey:

  • Frustration is common: 60% of Americans find the process of seeing a new health care provider to be frustrating.
  • Kindness is key: more than half say kindness from the provider (56%) and office staff (52%) is important when meeting with health care providers for the first time.
  • Technology is making a difference: Many Americans seem to believe technology could minimize struggles during the patient journey, with 75% stating they have found technology helpful when working with a new health care provider such as getting test results, asking medical questions, or paying their medical bills.
  • Virtual care has a generation gap: Nearly 3 in 5 Americans (59%) would be open to having a virtual appointment for their first visit with a new provider. However, adults age 65+ are much less likely to feel this way (37% vs. 65% under age 65).