News Briefs Archive

6 Changing Preferences of Healthcare Consumers in 2020

Feb. 5, 2020

Doctor.com released its annual “Customer Experience Trends in Healthcare” report, based on survey results of more than 1,600 U.S. adults. The report details how patients prefer to conduct their healthcare journeys: the resources they rely on to search for a provider, the criteria they use to select a provider and other factors that influence their decision-making process, satisfaction and loyalty, according to a news release.

The “Customer Experience Trends in Healthcare 2020” report uncovers several key themes:

The “death” of referrals is imminent: Patients now prefer to use online resources (e.g., search engines, reviews) two times more than they use traditional referrals to find a doctor.

Reviews are a permanent fixture in the patient journey: 88 percent of patients will go online to read reviews about a provider they’ve been referred to. Patients ranked ratings and reviews as the most important factor when making a doctor’s appointment, with referrals coming in second.

Listings accuracy = practice growth insurance: Half of all patients will decide not to see a provider if he or she has inaccurate or incomplete listings information on the web.

Rise of mobile health “shopping”: The preference for using a mobile device to search for a provider has increased by 50 percent this year, and the preference for mobile appointment scheduling (i.e., via browser or app) has increased by 92 percent. There’s been a 33 percent uptick in telehealth visits this year.

Voice (AI) search in healthcare is lagging: Only 15 percent of patients report that they’ve used an AI voice assistant to search for a provider.

Digital appointment scheduling is the new standard: The majority (60 percent) of patients prefer digital scheduling options over a phone call (a 36 percent increase from 2018). Almost half (48 percent) of all patients have chosen a doctor based on their ability to schedule or reschedule an appointment online.

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