The patients have spoken—an online presence and well thought out customer experience are critical components of their choice in and retention of a practice and physician, or so says the recent Customer Experience Trends in Healthcare report from doctor.com.
The study, in which 1,718 U.S. adult patients participated, found that 80% of consumers used the internet to make a healthcare-related search in the past year, and that 81% of patients will read reviews about a provider, even after they have been referred to them. If your practice is not online—or worse, if you have a negative presence online—your practice could be suffering. 90% of survey respondents stated that will frequently or always change their mind about a referral due to the provider’s poor or weak online reputation (a rating of less than three out of five stars), and 60% stated they would not book with a provider with poor quality reviews. That rings true across all age groups, too, not just the tech-savvy millennial population—of those respondents over age 60, 76% said they have used the internet to make a healthcare related search in the last year, and 90% will change their mind about seeing a referred healthcare provider with a rating of less than 3 stars online.
It isn’t just about reputation, though. Patients are also seeking a seamless digital experience, as well. 45% of respondents stated they prefer to use digital methods, such as a patient portal, to request an appointment, and 42% will choose a provider exclusively for access to this. Another 71% said they prefer appointment reminders via text or email, really driving home the importance of integrating digital tools for a more complete customer experience.
If you have yet to take your online presence seriously, now is the time, for as technology evolves—and it does at a rapid rate—users of all ages are quick to adopt it, and they want to see it everywhere, even in their healthcare.
Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.