May 11, 2022

Use of the patient portal in the healthcare sector

Experian Health - The Digital Healthcare Gap: Streamlining The Patient Journey - April 2022 - Learn how healthcare providers are streamlining patient care through digital channels

Consumers are increasingly turning to digital channels such as online patient portals to streamline communication with healthcare providers and managing their care. Experian Health - The Digital Healthcare Gap: Streamlining The Patient Journey - April 2022 - Learn how healthcare providers are streamlining patient care through digital channelsDigital tools used for activities such as booking appointments, obtaining test results, and payments are increasingly preferred, and even expected, especially among digital-first consumers.

Traditional methods of delivering care and interacting with patients are still common, but healthcare providers are under pressure to meet patients’ needs for seamless and easy access to critical health information and able to perform patient care tasks through digital channels.

However, recent PYMNTS research finds that patients report several key issues with finding healthcare providers and obtaining cost estimates prior to care. Eighteen percent of consumers said selecting healthcare professionals and asking questions were problematic, and 15% reported difficulty getting accurate cost estimates for appointments.

Experian Health - The Digital Healthcare Gap: Streamlining The Patient Journey - April 2022 - Learn how healthcare providers are streamlining patient care through digital channelsThese are just some of the findings found in The Digital Healthcare Gap: Streamlining the Patient Journeya PYMNTS and Experian Health collaboration. This report examines how healthcare providers currently interact with patients through digital channels such as patient portals. It also offers actionable insights into gaps in healthcare providers’ digital practices and how meeting patient expectations for a seamless digital experience across the patient journey can increase engagement and improve care.

Other key findings from the report include:

• One in five patients made appointments through digital channels in the past 12 months, with urgent care patients most likely to do so. Our data reveals that 17% of urgent care patients made appointments through patient portals, while 16% did so through practice websites and 5% via text. Family medicine patients book appointments through patient portals more than other digital channels, with 15% doing so. Meanwhile, 5% use practice websites and 2% plan via SMS. At 7%, patients in dental practices are the least likely to use patient portals to schedule appointments.

Experian Health - The Digital Healthcare Gap: Streamlining The Patient Journey - April 2022 - Learn how healthcare providers are streamlining patient care through digital channels• On average, 31% of patients report using digital methods to find and select providers, and one in 10 patients find providers through reviews or online searches. ER physician patients seek out these providers via digital methods more than others, with 18% using online reviews and 20% using online searches. Yet 18% of respondents mention difficulties in finding and selecting the specific professionals they need.

• Two-thirds of consumers currently use patient portals, with millennials and high-income consumers most likely to do so. Our research also reveals that 32% of those who don’t use portals would be “very” or “extremely” interested in using one if their regular vendors offered them. Thirty-eight percent of patient specialists and radiologists who do not have portals are the most interested in using them. At 29%, patients of family doctors who do not use patient portals are the least interested.

To learn more about how healthcare providers are using digital channels to improve patient care and satisfaction, To download The report.


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