New Data Shows Patient Preferences for Appointment Scheduling
ZocDoc, an online marketplace where patients can find and book care has released a new report, What Patients Want, a snapshot of patient preferences, behaviors and sentiments in 2023.
According to the report, “each month millions of patients visit zocdoc.com or use the mobile app to search for healthcare providers.” Each of these clicks is telling a story about what patients want in appointment scheduling. This new report is the first time that ZocDoc is sharing the trends that emerge from patient interactions on ZocDoc.
Here are some highlights from that report:
Who is booking electronically? Women. By a large margin, women continue to be the main drivers of healthcare with 65% booking electronically versus just 35% of men. Nearly half of all patients booking were millennials and most people booking had commercial insurance. No matter how the data was sliced up, women led in booking. So, if attracting healthcare decision makers, members of the largest generation (millennials), and those with commercial insurance is a priority then offering a way to book online is critical.
Mobile booking is on the rise. Also critical is offering appointment booking on mobile. According to the report, mobile outpaces desktop for booking on ZocDoc 66% to 34%. Mobile booking has grown nearly 20% over the last five years.
The time it takes to get care matters–a lot! Wait times across healthcare to get an appointment average 26 days. It’s a growing problem and a huge frustration for patients. This report shows a strong preference for near-term appointments with nearly half of all the appointments booked taking place within four days. Over the years, data has shown that open online scheduling enables patients to access visits sooner. The ZocDoc results seem to bear that out.
Virtual health is an option patients want: See image below.
What types of care and providers are being booked? People are booking all kinds of appointments. While primary care is the top appointment type and provider booked, there are a lot of specialty appointments being booked. For more healthcare specialties patients tend to stay in network, but for cosmetic, dental and mental health specialties people are more likely to consider out of network options.
Finally, online booking seems to show high loyalty. Over 80% of patients rebooked with the same provider through ZocDoc. It makes sense that you would keep going to see a provider you like who also offers the ability to easily book 24/7.
This report certainly seems to show that online appointment booking has benefits for providers of all kinds. It helps providers reach the valuable patients and keep them coming back, especially if the online option to book is available on mobile.