New Research: Americans’ Expectations of Their Doctors Jump Post-COVID


Findings from a survey conducted by Actium Health uncover where doctors have both excelled and fallen behind

PALO ALTO, Calif., April 27, 2022 – Actium Health, healthcare’s leading CRM Intelligence company, today released the results of a study that reveals the gap between doctors’ engagement efforts and patients’ needs, expectations and preferences. The data highlights the progress healthcare has achieved since the last report in 2021; in other areas, the divide continues to grow larger, revealing missed opportunities to activate patients on the journey to better health outcomes.

Key findings:

  • Americans have even higher expectations for their doctors in 2022 (62.7%) than 2021 (50.2%)
  • More Americans have less confidence in their doctors today (50.2%) than in 2021 (41.3%)
  • Half of Americans report getting most of their information about COVID-19 from the media 
  • More than 1 out of 3 (38%) of Americans believe that no one has provided clear and factual information consistently about COVID-19

On the right path: providers have made noteworthy progress in patient engagement efforts

In 2021, 17% of people reported that they were considering changing their doctor based on how they handled COVID-19; in 2022, that number decreased slightly to 15%. 

“At the beginning of the pandemic, healthcare providers were largely not set up to communicate, engage or activate patients in an effective and consistent way,” said Mike Linnert, founder and CEO of Actium Health. “Now, with a couple years’ experience – and feedback from patients – they recognize that connecting with individuals outside of office visits not only enhances patient loyalty, it also drives improved health outcomes.”

Across the board, providers are sending more information to their patients than in 2021.

  • Information & updates about COVID19 – 57% (2021: 54%) 
  • Information & updates about COVID19 vaccine – 61% (2021: 55%) 
  • General health information – 58% (2021: 45%) 
  • Information related to my chronic conditions – 28% (2021: 21%) 
  • Information about and scheduling options for preventive screenings – 39% (2021: 29%)

Despite progress, Americans still get health information from other sources  

When Actium Health (formerly SymphonyRM) conducted research in June 2021, nearly half (49%) of Americans reported that they had not received general information about COVID-19; in 2022, that number increased to 54%. As it relates to the COVID-19 vaccine, only 30% had received information from their doctor in 2021; in 2022, that jumped to 45%.

When it comes to information about COVID-19, 50% of Americans report getting the majority from the news media; only 21% say their doctor. That number changes slightly when it comes to the vaccine; 47% report the majority of the information comes from the media, while 26% get it from their doctor. More than one-third (38%) believe that no one has provided clear and factual information consistently about COVID-19. Interestingly, while more people feel doctors were a source for consistent, factual information (27%) – and only 17% said the media – they still turned to the latter in far higher numbers.

Linnert continued, “The pandemic presented a real-life, real-time case study of provider-patient engagement and activation. Despite widespread patient preferences for more, the majority of doctors and health systems have not identified what that looks like or how to deliver it. That leaves Americans wanting their doctors to be their go-to, trusted resource for health information, but, in its absence, turning to less-trusted resources, such as the media.” 

For people that do receive proactive information from their doctors, less than half (46%) say that the information is always relevant to them. Despite that – and any previous challenges or disconnects – Americans overwhelmingly want to hear from their doctors: 62% report that they would like to hear from their doctor proactively more in 2022.  

Access the full survey report: State of Engagement in 2022.

Survey Methodology 
Actium Health conducted an online survey in February 2022 to determine how the pandemic impacted patients’ engagement preferences. The survey captured responses from a broad distribution of 1,230 consumers in the U.S.

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For media inquiries, please contact:
Kristin Faulder (on behalf of Actium Health) 
(586) 419.4652