Patients don’t feel an automatic loyalty to their healthcare provider anymore. That loyalty needs to be earned and kept. Here are 7 key insights from the report:
People are switching providers more often with 30% changing providers in 2021. Twenty-five percent switched because they were unhappy.
Younger generations, especially Gen Z and Millenials, are six times more likely to switch. These two groups make up the largest percentage of Americans today. In addition, they are now making decisions for themselves, their young children, and even their aging parents. So their loyalty is critical.
The top reason people switched providers was ease of navigation, with 78% saying this was a reason they left. That category encompasses several things according to the report:
They were difficult to do business with
I had a bad experience with the front desk or administrative staff
The digital/online service and support solutions do not meet my needs (e.g., mobile, digital/virtual assistants)
The next closest reason for leaving was clinical expertise, and it was considerably lower at 40%. This indicates that people will consider leaving a good provider for better experiences across the broader organization. In other words, good care is not enough to retain patients.
Access was the top factor in choosing a new provider according to 71% of the respondents. The access category included:
Their location(s) were convenient to work or home
I was able to get an appointment quickly
Their appointment hours were convenient
Evening and/or weekend hours
The ability to interact with them over digital, mobile, or social media
Telehealth and virtual care offerings (e.g. phone call or video appointments)
Online scheduling for an appointment, without having to speak to someone
Their customer service
According to Accenture, “People who find their providers very easy to work with are nine times more likely to stay than those who find them difficult to work with—and three times more likely to stay than if their provider is even somewhat easy to work with.”
Digital engagement is a strong predictor of loyalty, according to the report. “Nearly 80% of highly digital people are likely to stay with their providers.” In addition, these people are the most likely to find providers easy to work with. When highly digitally engaged people were asked if they were likely to stay with their provider, 64% said yes.
We’ll close this post with that very powerful finding. Digitally engaged patients are more loyal. This makes sense when you think about your own experiences in other areas of your life. Are you a loyal user of Starbucks or Delta or Amazon or OpenTable, etc. because of the ease and simplicity of using their mobile platforms to get what you need quickly and easily? Probably. For many people it’s becoming the same for healthcare.
If you need help figuring out your strategy to address this changing consumer mindset, download the patient engagement trend report from Digital Health’s Most Wired Survey.