Why patients are picking new providers: 8 notes

A recent survey from IT company Accenture found that more patients are switching healthcare providers than in previous years, and it identified four attributes patients look for in a provider.

Researchers collected responses from more than 21,000 consumers between 2017 and 2021. They found the number of patients switching providers has increased, especially among younger people, according to an article published Jan. 31 on the American Hospital Association website. The survey found:

  1. Thirty percent of respondents said they selected a new provider in 2021 — up 4 percent since 2017.

  2. Twenty-five percent of people who switched said they did so because they were unhappy — up 7 percent.

  3. Nearly 80 percent of patients who switched cited poor navigation factors as a reason for leaving, such as bad experiences with staff, inadequate digital solutions and difficulties doing business.

  4. Younger people, especially Gen Z and millennials, were nearly six times more likely to leave their providers.

The survey identified four attributes patients look for in providers:

  1. Access: Seventy-one percent of respondents cited appointment availability, convenience, customer service and the ability to connect with their providers through the patients' preferred channels as the top factor in selecting a provider.

  2. Easy to do business with: People who find their providers easy to work with are nine times more likely to stay. Even providers who were somewhat easy to work with were three times more likely to keep patients.

  3. Digital engagement: Nearly 80 percent of patients who described themselves as "highly digital" were likely to stay with their providers. Highly digital people were more likely to find their provider easy to work with and to trust.

  4. Trust: Patients who trusted their provider were five times more likely to stay.

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