Consumers want their digital healthcare experience to be more like retail: 4 things to know

Healthcare consumers want their digital experiences for routine healthcare transactions — like paying medical bills or filling prescriptions — to be similar to retail, according to results of a survey commissioned by NTT DATA Services.

The research was based on online responses from nearly 1,102 U.S. healthcare consumers during September 2017. NTT DATA specifically sought to answer three questions:

  • How satisfied are consumers with the digital customer experience across healthcare companies?
  • Where could physicians' offices or healthcare insurers provide more seamless care?
  • How do consumers prefer to interact with healthcare organizations?

Here are four things to know.

1. Seventy-eight percent of the more tech-savvy consumers say the healthcare digital customer experience needs improvement, and 50 percent said they would leave their current physician for a better digital customer experience.

2. More than half (69 percent) of respondents expect their health insurer to make it easier to navigate affordable care and wellness options.

3. Consumers want fast and easy digital experiences, but mobile healthcare is perceived as lacking ease of use and features, with 62 percent of respondents citing it is not able to accomplish what they want it to do, 42 percent of respondents citing a lack of relevant options and 40 percent of respondents citing mobile healthcare takes too long to complete.

4. Here are the six areas consumers respondents said improvement is most needed in.

  • Searching for a physician or specialist (81 percent)
  • Accessing a family member's health records (80 percent)
  • Changing or making an appointment (79 percent)
  • Accessing test results (76 percent)
  • Paying bills (75 percent)
  • Filling a prescription (74 percent)

"While digital experience may have a moderate impact on overall healthcare decisions made today, it is changing at an increasing rate," said Alan Hughes, COO of NTT DATA. "Providers, insurers and pharmacies taking heed of the trend will be best suited to fulfill patient expectations."

More articles on patient engagement:
University of Utah Hospital volunteers launch effort to ensure no patient dies alone
Study: Children's perceptions of their hospital stays differ from parents'
Boston Children's and Klick Health release VR platform to help increase pediatric patient understanding

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