The Patient Experience Index was created to give medical groups insights into the patient experience, which over the past decade has become increasingly consumer-centric due to factors such as higher deductibles and copays, the Affordable Care Act and social media. By tapping into the key drivers that shape consumer behavior — satisfaction, loyalty and engagement — CareCloud’s first annual index reflects the shifting landscape of healthcare delivery in the U.S.
During May of this year, 1443 participants across the U.S. shared their perspectives through an online interactive survey. It asked patients who had seen an ambulatory healthcare provider in the past 12 months about their entire experience, from the initial selection of a provider through post-visit engagement. Respondents were equally distributed through four age demographics: Millennials (18-35), Gen X (36-50), Boomers (51-65) and Matures (66-plus).
Increasingly, medical practices should focus on improving the quality of the patient experience in order to engender satisfaction and loyalty, according to CareCloud. While the move to digitize healthcare has created a shift in the practice of medicine, patients have not been negatively impacted; in fact, there has been broad enthusiasm from patients surrounding digital health technology.
Currently, patients across all age groups are taking advantage of digital resources to select and communicate with providers, as well as to access ancillary services. Boomers in particular are utilizing these services. As the patient journey becomes more complex, online resources enable healthcare consumers to manage costs, maximize convenience and access information that informs and empowers their choices. In CareCloud’s view, providers who align their practices with these trends can position themselves for continued growth and success.
Physicians online reputations are affected by the patient experience
Slightly more than one in four patients — 26 percent — have completed an online review of their provider, and 11 percent of patients consult a review site or conduct an online search when selecting a physician. A positive or negative patient experience not only impacts the loyalty of a single patient, but also has the potential to impact the growth of a medical group.
Boomers are outpacing other age groups in using online patient engagement tools
In contrast to stereotypes surrounding technology and millennials, boomers are the group most likely to take advantage of digital healthcare tools. They’re viewing online medical records, requesting prescription refills and contacting their providers with follow-up questions.
Millennials are more likely to switch providers for access to online tools
High levels of interest in digital healthcare tools may span across age groups, but millennials are twice as likely to actually switch providers to gain access to patient portals.
8 out of 10 patients report electronic health records have neither impacted nor improved their patient experience
Although physicians may view healthcare technology and the switch to EHR as interfering with their ability to practice medicine, patients have not noticed an impact on their overall experience and level of care. In fact, nearly one-third of patients feel that EHR have changed their experience for the better.
3 in 4 patients are eager to access both financial and medical records online
Boomers may be at the forefront of the digital healthcare trend, but interest levels in online access to medical records, prescription refills and online bill pay is increasing across all age groups.