Survey: Patients Search and Evaluate Providers, and Share Their Healthcare Experiences Online

Binary Fountain released the findings of its 2019 “Healthcare Consumer Insight & Digital Engagement” survey. With the goal of getting an updated view into how patients search, evaluate and share their experiences with their providers, the survey, conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Binary Fountain, shows patients’ continued dependence on online ratings and review sites and increased trust in social media to make informed healthcare decisions.

Patients Depend on Online Reputation More Than Ever When Choosing a Physician

The survey shows that consumers rely heavily on online ratings and reviews when choosing a provider. According to this year’s survey results:

Of the respondents that have utilized ratings and review sites when searching for a provider, 53% selected Google as a primary source, followed by a hospital and/or facility’s website (48%), Facebook (45%), Healthgrades (42%) and Instagram (28%).

More Consumers Are Using Social Media for Provider Searches

This year’s survey results also found that consumers are increasingly utilizing social media channels to find providers. For instance, 51% of consumers use social media platforms to search for a provider, a 621% increase from Binary Fountain’s 2017 survey results.

More Patients Are Sharing Their Healthcare Experiences through Social Media

When asked “what online platform(s) have you ever used to share your provider/hospital experiences,” respondents selected Facebook (57%) as the leading platform, followed by Google (49%) and a tie between hospital and/or facility website and Healthgrades at 40%. The 2019 survey results also revealed:

Furthermore, only 5% of respondents mentioned they “don’t share feedback on online platforms” in 2019, a stark contrast to the 69% of respondents that selected that answer in 2017.

Healthcare Consumers Seek Digital Scheduling

The survey shows that consumers are increasingly looking to digital devices to schedule appointments. The survey results revealed:

Based on the above findings, it is critical for healthcare providers to verify and ensure their contact information is accurate and up-to-date across all online listings and third-party websites.

Ease of Scheduling and Wait Times Are Critical to Winning Business

Across the board, patients indicated that “waiting to see the provider” and “scheduling” are the most frustrating factors when visiting a healthcare facility. For example, the survey results show:

Customer Experience is a Vital Concern for Patients

Patients continue to have high expectations for customer service and bedside manner. The survey examined, through multiple-answer questions, what factors matter most to patients when rating or evaluating a provider. The survey results revealed:

Surprisingly, “location” and “insurance coverage” dropped in importance by 42% and 48% respectively since 2017. This drop illustrates patients’ willingness to go out-of-network and/or travel farther to visit a provider or facility that boasts more positive ratings and reviews.

“Binary Fountain’s annual healthcare consumer survey continues to shine a spotlight on patients’ growing dependence on online ratings and review sites in today’s competitive healthcare environment,” said Aaron Clifford, senior vice president of marketing at Binary Fountain. “As more and more patients become vigilant in utilizing online rating, reviews and social media platforms to research and share their healthcare experiences, providers and facilities alike will need to be more digitally connected and engaged if they want to compete for patients’ loyalty and business.”

Survey Methodology

Sponsored by Binary Fountain, the 2019 “Healthcare Consumer Insight & Digital Engagement” survey was conducted by One Poll, a marketing research company specializing in online quantitative research and polling, between July 25-26, 2019. Feedback was obtained from 1,000 U.S. adults who go to the doctor.

One comment on “Survey: Patients Search and Evaluate Providers, and Share Their Healthcare Experiences Online”

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *