Digital Health

Survey: Patients as Consumers Embrace Post-Covid Model and Want to See More

Because patients are expecting a great consumer experience, they have enthusiastically embraced many of the new innovations their primary care offices have implemented since the Covid pandemic struck.  They report looking forward to even more journey-enhancing conveniences in the future. These are the findings of a new survey that polled over one thousand healthcare consumers about their physician’s practice experience now that they are returning to their providers.

The survey specifically asked the consumers about the newest health clinic implementations – services such as telehealth consultations, mobile or kiosk-based contactless check-in, and patient managed scheduling –innovations accelerated by lockdowns and the pandemic.

Almost 40% of those polled reported preferring to use so-called ‘Virtual Waiting Rooms’ where their admission functions are handled pre-appointment, remotely, contact-free, and on the patient’s own mobile device. Only 15% reported being ambivalent that their physician’s office doesn’t offer such a convenience and those respondents were largely from an older demographic.

50% categorized new amenities such as telehealth and pre-appointment check-in as “much needed” innovations that have helped “modernize” their healthcare experiences. Nearly half (47%) reported “hating” having to sit in a clinic’s waiting room, with one-in-five (20%) calling waiting room deals the “worst” of all patient experiences. 60% currently use - or wish their provider offered - mobile check-in.

While patients have clearly embraced these front-office innovations, they haven’t abandoned their appreciation for a personalized experience. People still very much value an in-person visit with their physicians (60%) with 50% claiming they still return for regular office visits despite the ready availability of telehealth services.

Perhaps more revealing is the 44% who claim they might - or definitely would - switch to another practice if their medical group stopped offering or refused to offer amenities like contactless check-in. In fact, 28% said they would actually talk to their physician about updating practice amenities to include some form of remote contactless waiting room feature.

“The survey echoes what we’re hearing from a lot of healthcare practices; patients enjoy and prefer the improvements they’re seeing during their healthcare office visits. This improved consumer experience is possible thanks largely to mundane tasks like pre-screening and paperwork finally made easy by via automation and going online,” said Hari Prasad, CEO of Yosi Health, the company that sponsored the survey. “Still, some healthcare practices have been slow to update their patient intake service models, and that’s starting to show as patients express their discontent with facilities that continue to offer the same antiquated pre-pandemic office procedures.”

As the impact of the pandemic was mitigated by effective vaccines and other precautions, patients began returning to their providers in droves. At the same time, many practices and clinics found themselves short-staffed and ill-equipped to handle the incoming surge of patients looking to resume procedures they had put off. Suddenly, a robust patient intake solution went from being a nice-to-have to a full-on necessity.

Innovative Express Care, one of the fastest growing medical groups in Chicago that offers convenient, high-quality, affordable healthcare in a new way., implemented a pre-arrival intake solution and were pleased to find 90% of their patients quickly adapted to it. The result? A 50% reduction in wait time for patients and significantly less stress on the front-office staff.

 “It’s all about leveraging automation to eliminate the necessary, yet burdensome and repetitive administrative tasks, while significantly improving the patient engagement experience throughout the entire patient journey,” observes Prasad. “That same automation is also providing a better front-office staff experience as well, an important component given the rate of staff burnout since Covid.”

Yosi Health offers practices of all sizes a Virtual Waiting Room platform that is a pre-arrival focused, patient scheduling, intake and payment program that is available as a standalone solution or integrated into practice management and many popular Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software solutions. Yosi Health’s end-to-end patient management platform significantly eliminates wait times, improves the patient and staff experience, provides more unfettered time with the provider, and increases financial results for any-size clinical practice.

The editorial staff had no role in this post's creation.