According to to a new investigation by patient access solution provider Kyruus.
Wakefield Research, which conducted the fifth annual Patient Pathway Survey on behalf of Kyruus, surveyed 1,000 American adults in August.
Almost 60% of those polled said they conducted research online to find out more about suppliers, an increase of five percentage points over the past five years. Surprisingly, Gen Xers (41 to 56) and Baby Boomers (57 to 75) were more likely than Millennials (25 to 40) to turn to the Internet.
The main online resources when finding new providers were the websites of healthcare organizations (60%) and general internet searches (53%).
Likewise, nearly 60% of consumers said they had used the Internet to search for a new service or care site, most often using a general Internet search (60% of online searchers) or visiting the website of a health organization (58%).
It’s not just the vendor websites that have served as popular resources for consumers. Payers’ websites have also played a prominent role.
About 52% of online researchers visited a health plan website when looking for a new provider, and 41% used a payer website to search for new services or healthcare sites. Primarily, consumers visited payers’ websites to verify that a provider found elsewhere was networked (66%), search for a network provider (51%), and estimate reimbursable charges for a chosen provider (25%). [Click to enlarge image]
For consumers, decisions about where and from whom to receive care are heavily influenced by the timeliness of appointments and transparent pricing.
About 74% of respondents said the ability to get timely care – that is, the availability of a short-term appointment – influences their healthcare decisions. This is closely followed by the possibility of remaining within a healthcare organization or a specific healthcare network (63%) and transparency of healthcare costs, i.e. knowing their estimated personal expenses. (50%).
After deciding where and from whom to seek care, consumers are looking for convenient appointment scheduling options.
Although booking by phone remains the preferred option for consumers, with 50% of respondents citing it, the popularity of scheduling by phone has declined, dropping 12 percentage points over the past five years.
On the other hand, 40% of consumers prefer to book through online channels. This figure has increased by 15 percentage points since the 2017 Patient Pathway Survey.
The change appears to be driven by Millennials and Gen Xers, with 59% and 44% of people in those age groups, respectively, saying they prefer booking online.
Meanwhile, only 24% of baby boomers said they prefer online channels. [Click to enlarge image]
âFive years of survey data has shown that the patient access journey increasingly spans multiple channels, with people relying heavily on healthcare delivery organizations and healthcare plans to make their care decisions, âKyruus CEO Dr. Graham Gardner said in a statement. Release.
Photo: ijeab, Getty Images, Kyruus