Patients Expect Providers to Offer Convenient Communication, User-Friendly Technologies

Patients expect more convenient communication options and user-friendly technology from healthcare providers now.

The results of a patient experience survey highlighted the need for healthcare providers to offer convenient communication options and user-friendly healthcare technology to improve experience and satisfaction.

The survey was conducted by Updox, a complete healthcare communication platform for in-person and virtual care. It was conducted online from August 31 to September 2, 2021, with responses from 2076 US adults ages 18 and older.

According to the survey, 53% of respondents said they would prefer to update or provide information such as health conditions, new prescriptions, or test results, digitally using online forms that can be accessed securely by phone, email, or patient portal.

In addition, 55% said convenient communications were among the most important factors when it comes to a good patient experience. User-friendly technology, such as an easy-to-use health portal or telehealth app, was the second-most important factor (51%), followed by secure information sharing (50%), and increased health safety (47%).

It’s clear that COVID-19 has impacted and even accelerated the expectations and preferences of patients and the ways they prefer to engage with and receive care from their healthcare provider,” Zach Zettler, president of Updox, said in a statement. “It is critical for practices to adjust to these needs to better connect with patients where they are - on their phones. When it comes to technology solutions that consumers believe are important for a healthcare provider to offer, it’s all digital.”

Common technology solutions patients expect to be offered included:

  • Patient reminders by phone call, email or text (65%)
  • Online bill pay (55%)
  • Online appointment scheduling (54%)
  • Patient portal (54%)
  • Electronic medical forms (43%)
  • Telehealth/virtual care (41%)
  • Secure text messaging (39%)

However, 3% said no new technology solutions were important for healthcare providers to offer to patients.

The survey also evaluated new expectations of healthcare providers as a result of the pandemic. Requiring that masks be worn by both patients and providers during in-office visits was most expected (58%) followed by socially distanced waiting rooms (52%) and an option for online paperwork (42%). Only 41% and 39% expected telehealth appointment option and communications conducted virtually, respectively. Furthermore, 12% said their expectations of healthcare providers hadn’t changed as a result of the pandemic.

“Communication can truly be a huge barrier in getting healthcare services, which is why it’s so important for today’s providers to focus first on establishing relationships,” said Sherie Garrison, RN, Luke Project 52 Clinic. “At my clinic, Updox really is the glue we use to build trust with our patients. Texting with them isn’t always medically related — it’s a way to show we care about them, and we’re connected to them.”