Findings from a survey conducted by SymphonyRM present post-COVID patient preferences and opportunities for doctors to meet new, higher expectations
PALO ALTO, Calif., Aug. 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- SymphonyRM is now Actium Health.
- 50% of respondents have higher expectations for their doctors since COVID-19
- 40% of respondents do not receive communication from their doctor between visits
- 23% say their opinion of their doctor has changed since COVID-19
- Nearly 20% of respondents are considering changing their doctor based on how they handled COVID-19
"The COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges across the healthcare spectrum, from care delivery to patient communication," said Michael Linnert, CEO of SymphonyRM. "Our research found that, although many health systems and doctors rose to the challenge of connecting patients with the information they needed about their health and the virus, many Americans were left behind and did not receive the same level of communication and engagement. These findings reveal what we at SymphonyRM have long known: People want doctors to send more consistent and actionable information about their health, such as preventive screenings and proactive health tips. The pandemic appears to have confirmed people's expectations."
Room for improvement: Only 50% receive information about chronic conditions, preventive screenings
While 45% of respondents report receiving general health information, such as healthy eating or exercise tips from their doctors, only 21% report that their doctors send them information related to their chronic condition(s), and just 29% report receiving information about scheduling options for preventive screenings, such as colonoscopies or mammograms.
But people want more:
- 41% would like to receive information about and scheduling options for preventive screenings
- 39% would like to receive information about appointment availability
- 37% would like to receive information related to their chronic condition(s)
- 37% would like to receive information and updates about the COVID-19 vaccine
Patient expectations are evolving: 41% have less confidence in their doctors since COVID-19
For the 59% of respondents who have more confidence in their doctors, it was the doctors' quick transition to virtual care (61%), the frequency with which they communicated about COVID-19 (58%), and their use of digital communication tools (47%) that instilled that confidence.
For the 41% of doctors who lost the confidence of their patients, it was their lack of communication about COVID-19 (53%), their slow adoption of virtual care (29%), and their under-utilization of digital communication tools (24%) that impacted their reputation.
Moving forward, people are looking for:
- The ability to schedule appointments digitally (58%)
- More proactive communication about relevant health information (57%)
- Virtual/telehealth appointments (54%)
- Remote patient monitoring (37%)
In addition to changing expectations, health outcomes can be impacted by how and when doctors communicate to their patients. Nearly 3 out of 4 (71%) respondents would be likely to schedule preventive care appointments (e.g., annual physical, mammogram, colonoscopy) if they received electronic (text/email) reminders from their doctor's office.
Linnert continues: "Doctors and health systems can learn from consumer-facing brands when it comes to engagement and driving action. For example, our research reveals that 40% of Americans consider Amazon the 'gold standard' based on how the brand communicates with them. Those just starting out on their patient engagement journey, or even those that are further along, can look at brands like Amazon to identify tactics to which today's consumers – i.e., patients – respond.
SymphonyRM partnered with a third-party to administer the survey, conducted May 7 - 10, 2021. A total of 1,192 responses were collected from men and women over the age of 18. The full release report can be downloaded here.
SymphonyRM is helping health systems transform how they acquire, engage, and retain patients by creating an engagement model rivaling the capabilities of world-class, consumer-centered organizations. By generating data-driven, prioritized next best actions for every consumer, prospect, and provider in a health system, SymphonyRM is helping organizations anticipate member needs and use proactive outreach to build deeper customer relationships and drive better outcomes while increasing revenue.