Roll Out the Red Carpet: The Impact of Finding Care on the Overall Patient Journey
For brick-and-mortar stores, window displays are key to drawing in customers off the street. For digital stores, convenience and pricing—along with ubiquitous advertising—bring in the volume. What about healthcare?
From the moment an individual first needs and searches for care, the patient journey is anything but straightforward. There is no clear pathway to finding the right provider, and healthcare consumers are often frustrated by the time they must spend pursuing referrals, scheduling visits, or securing pre-authorization or payment. And that’s all before patients walk in the door.
Perhaps it’s no wonder that an overwhelming 81% of patients report they are dissatisfied with their healthcare experience. When we consider our own care experiences—and those of our friends and family members—this figure is not altogether surprising.
As healthcare professionals, however, we assume that our own practice or facility does better. Studies show that providers significantly overestimate the quality of their practice’s patient experience. For example, 51% of providers agree that they “take the time to understand the patient’s needs and explain options,” while only 34% of consumers believe the same.
Connecting Consumers to a Care Community
What friction points are we missing? To find out, Change Healthcare conducted a three-year research study on the healthcare consumer experience. We wanted to understand how payers and providers can effectively remove barriers to care at each step of the patient journey.
Our white paper, The Journey of Finding Care, illustrates consumer disillusionment with a needlessly complex healthcare system.
We found that a healthcare consumer’s experience at the beginning of the journey actually influences their subsequent behavior. From adhering to care instructions to likelihood to pay, consumer behavior reflects levels of satisfaction with the entire care experience.
Patients are searching for a tangible connection to a doctor who takes the time to respectfully listen to their concerns. Closing the access gap means connecting patients with well-matched providers, a supportive healthcare community, and integrated digital tools.
By conscientiously working to remove barriers to care, providers can create a meaningful consumer experience that attracts new business, improves outcomes, and achieves cost savings.
1. Prophet and GE Healthcare Camden Group, “The Current State of the Healthcare Experience.”