6 key points on consumers searching the internet for providers

Patients increasingly using the internet to research providers beforehand, according to the 2017 Patient Access Journey Report conducted by Kyruus.

The report includes findings from 1,000 consumers on aspects of how they search for and select providers, schedule appointment and factors considered when choosing a provider.

Additional findings include:

  • 90 percent of consumers always or sometimes conduct research into providers before scheduling a visit, even when they have previously received a referral from a specialist.
  • Having insurance accepted ranked as a top factor when selecting a provider, with three out of four individuals rating this as “extremely important.” Relevant clinical experience was ranked second most important by 53 percent of consumers.
  • Appointment availability (80 percent) was also cited as a key factor when choosing a provider, and 60 percent of consumers have searched for other providers to get an earlier appointment.
  • 40 percent of consumers report trusting online reviews ‘completely’ or ‘very much.’
  • 62 percent of consumers prefer to book appointments over the phone because of speed and personalized service.
  • 79 percent of millennial consumers have passed over providers to search for an earlier appointment time; two out of five preferring to book online.

“Today’s healthcare consumers have come to expect the same informative and action-oriented online experiences in healthcare that they find in other industries,” said Graham Gardner, CEO of Kyruus. “Capturing their attention requires health systems to take a close look at their ‘digital front doors’—both how consumers find their websites and what they experience once there—and ensure that their online provider information is both robust and consistent with their offline points of access.”