Patients want more well-being support from doctors

June 11, 2019

A new survey found that patients would feel more loyalty to their physicians if their overall health was supported between visits.

Physicians are always looking for ways to increase patient loyalty to their practice.

One potential strategy is to increase the amount of holistic health and wellbeing support that physicians provide to patients between encounters, according to the results of a new national patient survey.

The survey, by health technology vendor Welltok, found that patients want to be loyal to their physicians, and the vast majority of them (84 percent) said that they would feel a greater sense of loyalty if their overall health and wellbeing was supported outside of the clinical setting. The types of services patients are looking for is between-encounter help with nutrition, stress management and weight loss.

“It is time to rethink the patient journey,” said Michelle Snyder, Welltok’s chief marketing officer, in a news release. “It’s no longer just about how providers interact with patients from their first appointment to discharge, but rather the broader ongoing journey to optimal health that often occurs outside of the provider setting.”

Other findings of the survey include:

• Physician practices and other provider settings are where patients want to turn for holistic health support, the results showed, rather than health plans, pharmacies or their employers.
• Nearly 75 percent of patients surveyed said they want “continuous interaction” with their healthcare provider between appointments.
• More than 80 percent of patients said they feel they would more likely follow discharge orders and treatment plans if they were personalized. More than 60 percent of patients said they found this kind of discharge information to often be too generic.
• Most of the patients surveyed were not big fans of their physicians’ patient portals beyond routine scheduling, refill and test result information. Most said they would prefer a more patient-focused platform to interact with their physician between visits.

Welltok surveyed more than 1,600 adult patients across the United States who had visited their physician multiple times in the past year.