Satisfaction with healthcare visits compared to other consumer services
Among the 84% of Americans who visited a doctor's office within the past year, nearly half (47%) reported being very satisfied with their last medical visit; an additional 36% described themselves as somewhat satisfied.
As might be expected, satisfaction falls short of levels observed for several other industries, particularly those with more of a focus on providing a pleasurable experience: very satisfied ratings are behind those reported for Americans' last restaurant visit (63%), their last online purchase (62%), and their last bank visit (59%). Very satisfied ratings are comparable to those recorded for U.S. adults' last hotel stay (49%), car purchase (47%) and department store visit (44%), and are ahead of those observed for their most recent health insurance company interaction (29%) and last mobile phone store visit (28%).
Dissatisfaction with most recent healthcare provider visits (17%) is comparable to levels observed for recent mobile phone store visits (also 17%) and health insurance company interactions (18%).Many factors contribute to patients' experiences with their doctors and other healthcare providers. When asked to rate a series of factors on their importance in driving a positive experience, the clear top issue in patients' minds is their doctor's overall knowledge, training and expertise (with 83% rating it very important). Their doctor's ability to access their overall medical history (62%) and time spent with their doctor (59%) are the next most vital factors, while appearance and atmosphere of the doctor's office (26%) and minimizing paperwork (29%) are the least important issues.
Gap for Online Services: Results show a similar disparity for all of the tested services, including (among others) email access to doctors (12% have; 23% very important, 30% important), online appointment setting (11% have, 21% very important, 30% important) and online billing and payments (10% have, 21% very important, 29% important).
"Customer experience matters in healthcare and will continue to impact purchasing decisions and customer retention," notes Debra Richman, Senior Vice President, Healthcare Business Development & Strategy, Harris Interactive. "The healthcare consumer is increasingly evaluating brand equity, convenience and product or service value as they make choices. In an increasingly competitive healthcare marketplace, a positive customer experience will serve to differentiate health plans and providers."
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