Experian Health today released findings from a follow-up survey on patient access to explore how patient and provider attitudes have changed in the last six months, and what this means for the future of healthcare. The data reveals that patients feel more positive about their healthcare experience, while providers are continuing the digital momentum to meet patients’ needs.
Patients see benefits of industry changes
Overall, the comparison survey suggests that patients surveyed are more satisfied today with healthcare services than in November 2020. A majority (86%) of those surveyed are feeling more confident about returning to healthcare facilities compared to 81 percent in the prior study. Many (40%) patients that cancelled a procedure due to the pandemic have already rescheduled and undergone the procedure compared to 13 percent last year. Also, concerns about utilizing online services declined among survey respondents from 37 percent to 29 percent.
The challenges patients faced last year have seen improvements as well, with more patients surveyed saying they are able to find an appointment that fits their schedules, increasing from 11.9 percent to 15 percent. The inability to schedule elective care among respondents dropped from 14.6 percent to 11.3 percent.
Another topic addressed in the survey includes price transparency, which remains important to patients and seems to have improved in the last six months. Fewer consumers are surprised by their final bill with more than half (52%) of patients last year saying they had final costs that differed significantly from estimates; now this figure is just 14 percent. Providers, in turn, are less concerned this year about collecting payments from consumers, with those very or extremely concerned decreasing from 50 percent to 41 percent.
“The healthcare industry is transforming at an unparalleled pace. We were anxious to understand what has or hasn’t evolved since the initial impact of the pandemic turned a corner,” said Tom Cox, president for Experian Health. “While we are still in the thick of COVID-19, providers are continuing to embrace digital services and new approaches to delivering care. They are seeing the benefits with more satisfied patients and operational efficiencies, which is a good indicator that the industry is moving in the right direction.”
Consequently, providers are accelerating patient access efforts. Improving the patient experience is a top priority for 93 percent of providers surveyed, up slightly from 90 percent in 2020. Some of the ways the providers surveyed have reduced patient intake friction includes 44 percent implementing online scheduling, an increase of 7 percent, and 40 percent launching automated or expanded patient portal services, which is an uptick from 36 percent since the last survey.
Data security still top of mind
Keeping patient data secure remains a top priority for patients and providers. Three quarters of patients surveyed say secure access to patient portals is the top feature they look for in healthcare services, most of the time, which is similar to the previous survey results. Almost half (43%) of providers improved security for remote patient access services, a 6 percent increase from last year.
For more survey insights, a free white paper on the findings can be found at https://www.experian.com/healthcare/resources-insights/thought-leadership/white-papers-insights/state-of-patient-access-survey-2.
About Experian Health
At Experian Health, we collaborate with more than 3,400 hospitals and 7,300 other healthcare organizations representing 500,000-plus providers — almost 60 percent of the market — to provide data-driven platforms to empower our clients to make smarter business decisions, boast a better bottom line and foster stronger patient relationships. Our industry-leading solutions include revenue cycle management, identity management, patient engagement and care management.
Part of Experian, the world’s leading information services company, our Experian Health business is known for its patient access heritage, advanced data insights and patent-pending Touchless Workflow™ which help providers, labs, pharmacies and other risk-bearing entities power opportunities in today’s consumer-driven healthcare environment.
Experian has 17,800 people operating across 45 countries, and every day we’re investing in new technologies, talented people and innovation to help all our clients maximize every opportunity. We are listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and are a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
For more information about Experian Health, visit http://www.experianhealth.com. Learn more about Experian at www.experianplc.com or visit our global content hub at our global news blog for the latest news and insights from the Group.