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Today's Patients Seek Health Care Online

By the time a patient walks into your office, chances are they've already gotten to know you online.

We used to think a patient’s experience began when they walked in the door. Today, it’s as soon as they open a web browser.

According to the 2021 Consumer Experience Trends in Healthcare survey, “the average patient will consult more than two online sources and more than five online provider reviews when selecting a new clinician, and those online reviews are the top factor swaying patients’ care access decisions,” a trend experts say is expected to continue.

The patient experience is further formed when using digital platforms to connect. Just as consumers access websites from their smartphones, tablets and laptops, patients are looking to find a doctor, schedule an appointment and communicate with an office using the same technology.

Here are a few of the ways patients want access to health care:

  • Direct access to communicate with a provider,
  • Automated texting capabilities and voice reminders—reminding patients about upcoming visits, providing arrival instructions and offering last minute updates,
  • The ability to self-schedule appointments and find open slots without staff intervention,
  • The ability to share symptoms and concerns digitally,
  • Use of targeted messages that engage patients in their care and drive follow-up appointments and enhance quality performance.

Providing digital engagement tools can improve the patient experience, positively impact communication with patients and help the provider and health care team stay connected to the patient.

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