For a number a reasons beyond their control, patients are paying more for healthcare services than ever before. Between the cost of premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, families on average cover about one-third of their total healthcare spending.
With all of these increasing costs, it’s no surprise these same patients are asking more questions about what they are getting for their money and demanding better and more services. The pandemic has accelerated these trends, as consumers have became more aware of digital healthcare models and factored them into their own decision-making.
Trends in Patient Expectations
Seventy-five percent of consumers report healthcare purchases are the most important and costly decisions they make. With that level of expenditure, patients are expecting their experiences in healthcare to match the experience and convenience they find in other industries, such as banking and retail. That often includes engaging digital interactions that drive patient satisfaction.
NRC Health notes several trends that grew throughout the pandemic, including:
- Patients want an ongoing partnership with their provider.
- Consumer expectations on the overall patient experience, including convenience, have increased.
- While telehealth was successful and 92% reported positive experiences during the pandemic, many patients still want in-person visits in addition to virtual options.
- Patients have adopted more digital healthcare tools, but there is a gap in sharing that information with providers.
Patient surveys by Deloitte in 2020 further support the idea of a more active healthcare consumer:
- 51% of consumers are very or extremely likely to tell their doctors if they disagree with them
- 42% of consumers are using tools to measure fitness and health
- 77% of consumers that track their health believe it changes their behavior
New Innovations in Healthcare
As consumers seek more convenience in their healthcare providers, new companies are disrupting the landscape to capitalize on those trends. Nimble, digital-first-or-only healthcare companies have realized that patients spend a lot of time—2 hours, on average—traveling to a doctors office, waiting, paying, and completing paperwork, only to spend 20 minutes or less with their actual doctor. Not to mention the time they spent scheduling the appointment and the weeks they waited for it to arrive.
This has created an opening for these companies to build a new healthcare model, placing virtual care at the forefront that often bypass the role of the traditional independent physician entirely. Which means that if you fall into the category of clinician working in a brick-and-mortar medical practice, you’re now being forced to compete not only with other practices in your area, but with services operating at a regional or national level.
What Does It All Mean for Our Practice?
Fortunately for traditional medical practices, most patients still prefer to maintain face-to-face interactions with their physicians. But, they really like having the option of virtual visits when it’s convenient, and, more importantly, they’re looking for digital healthcare services that can enhance these interactions before, during, and after their visit.
So as a healthcare provider, it’s important to understand that patients are also consumers. Consumers want excellent service, convenience, and financial transparency. A “digital front door” that provides convenient, meaningful interactions between your patients and your office is no longer a nicety, but a necessity.
And these digital interactions don’t have to stop at the front door—in fact they shouldn’t. Digital healthcare technology can also extend the relationship between your practice and your patients between visits. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) and related remote monitoring services offer accessible care to older adults and patients with chronic conditions in the convenience of their own home, while providing your office with real-time insights into how this care is benefitting them. This data stream improves outcomes, patient engagement, and patient satisfaction.
Exceed Your Patients’ Expectations
If you are ready to learn more about how to provide convenient, effective, continuous digital healthcare to your patients, set up a free RPM consultation with one of our remote care experts.
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