Experian Releases 2023 State of Patient Access Results
Last week, Experian Health released findings from its annual State of Patient Access survey. To quickly summarize, both patients and providers believe digital access is important for both patient experience and health system revenue. They also both think that after some big steps forward, things have slowed or even gotten a bit worse. Essentially, things have stalled at a time when everyone needs things to get moving. Read excerpts from the press release below for more information.
"Are providers and patients on the same page?
Overall, results show that both providers and patients want access functions such as scheduling and registration that are streamlined and efficient. They also agree digital services are not improving; when asked if the experience accessing healthcare is better or worse since the prior year only 17 percent of patients surveyed say better while only slightly more providers (27%) agree.
Some of the most important digital services for patients that drive a positive experience include being able to schedule appointments online or via a mobile device (76%), having an online/mobile option for payments (72%), and more digital options for managing healthcare (56%).
For providers, the realization that a better patient access experience results in better business outcomes seems to be nearly universal. Unfortunately, nearly half (47%) of providers surveyed say things have gotten worse over the past two years. Still, providers feel positive about change coming with 45 percent of respondents indicating probable or definite improvement expectations this year.
Providers aim to continue progress
For most patients, the primary challenge of access is speed. “Seeing a practitioner quickly” has stayed at No. 1 on the patients’ “most challenging” list for the past three years, trending up every year. In addition to seeing a practitioner quickly, other top patient challenges included trying to schedule appointments, scheduling appointments with a specialist, and knowing where to go for needed care.
On the provider side, respondents want to reduce friction at the front end of the patient journey. However, the top five impediments revealed to improving access overall are:
Patient confusion caused by the pandemic
Producing cost estimates
Lack of staff training
Implementing digital/mobile solutions
The good news is there has been progress since the first survey in 2020;some efforts by providers, like expanding telehealth, adding text communications, and launching or expanding patient portals, have increased each year. The effort will continue with 46 percent of provider respondents saying they expect their organizations to invest more in the next six months. Many providers see the benefits with 57 percent saying that digital/mobile solutions have improved the patient experience. More than a third of those surveyed agree that automation is beneficial, indicating that more use of technology such as artificial intelligence could be on the horizon."
When it comes to speed and broad access, mobile holds the key to success. Using a foundational framework like the one offered by Gozio allows a health system to stand up a robust patient-facing mobile platform quickly. That mobile app can include all the organization's patient-facing digital tools from patient portals to provider search and scheduling to wayfinding. It also leaves room for custom development and changes over time.