Consumers Demanding Flexibility and Updated Technology from Healthcare Providers

Now that some of the debate has quieted about the Affordable Care Act, consumers are paying attention to what the changes in the healthcare system mean for them. Healthcare shoppers are also expecting service providers to
update their delivery methods and this includes more use of technology. A PwC Health Research Institute report finds that traditional service providers must promote  features like pricing transparency and longer office hours to stay competitive.

Analysts point out that some healthcare providers, especially physicians in private practice have been slow to adopt time-​saving technology. The promise of the electronic health care record hasn't materialized and is mired in controversy surrounding privacy rights. But, consumers want their physicians to know their medical history as they go from one  office to the next. In addition, consumers expect more digital engagement from their service providers, especially the flexibility to make and change appointments online

Consumers are now expect to be treated like customers instead of just patients. They have higher expectations about good service in physician offices and this means decreased wait times for their appointments.

As physicians and clinics begin to roll out new delivery models, analysts advise them to target consumers between the ages of 35–54. These consumers have a higher use rate than others – because they are often parents of young children who frequently visit physicians. The older consumers in this age group may be making health-​care decisions for their parents, as well.  Physicians and other service providers who can’t deliver the experience consumers are looking for may lose patients.

Ad-​ology Research reports that 24.6% of potential doctor switchers are 35 to 44 years old. About 31% of these consumers plan to visit the eye doctor this year. Another 10% will go to a chiropractic service.  80% of these consumers regularly listen to local radio. And, 33% watch between 1 and 3 hours of TV every day. These media formats may serve as effectives vehicle for local healthcare providers to promote the customer-​friendly changes they are making to their practices.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to Ad-​ology PRO.  Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.