Healthcare providers and marketers have become aware that consumers expect the same sort of digital experience from healthcare organizations as they find in other industries. While healthcare has been slow to catch up to other industries with digital offerings, our industry is making strides toward improvement. A recent survey from Kyruus provides insight into consumer behavior with online provider searches and scheduling.
While most healthcare appointments are still scheduled by phone, more consumers – especially younger ones – prefer online scheduling. With the number of healthcare consumers increasing in the millennial and Gen X demographic groups, this becomes more important for providers.
In the Kyruus survey, 1,000 patients age 18-65 years old were asked about their habits in searching for providers and scheduling appointments. The survey found:
- Primary source for information on new providers:
- 53% of respondents use the internet for provider information.
- 34% use insurance companies for provider information.
- 32% use referrals from friends or family members.
- 32% use referrals from other healthcare providers.
- For respondents using internet searches to find providers:
- 59% used an internet search.
- 42% used their insurance company’s website.
- 38% used a health system’s website.
- For booking appointments:
- 62% preferred booking appointments by phone because they said it’s easier and more personalized.
- 16% preferred booking online through the provider’s website.
- 9% preferred booking through a mobile app or provider search website.
- Demographics of those preferring to book online:
- 24% were Gen X.
- 40% were millennials.
- Almost two-thirds of both Gen X and millennial respondents said they would be willing to change providers for the ability to book online appointments.
Graham Gardner, CEO of Kyruus, said in a statement, “Capturing [the attention of today’s healthcare consumers] requires health systems to take a close look at their ‘digital front doors’ — both how consumers find their websites and what they experience once there — and ensure that their online provider information is both robust and consistent with their offline points of access.”