This was originally published on Greystone.Net's blog, GreyMatters, on May 19. The past four years, Kyruus has conducted a survey of 1,000 healthcare consumers to understand how they search for, select, and schedule appointments with healthcare providers. While the most recent report revealed early signs that the COVID-19 pandemic was changing consumer preferences for accessing care, a year into the pandemic we wanted to poll consumers again to gain a deeper understanding of its impact on their decision making. In March 2021, we surveyed 1,000 people about everything from reasons for delaying care and COVID-19 vaccine access to preferences for obtaining future care. The results revealed that consumers’ expectations have changed for good and that their experiences with care during the pandemic have led to a lasting mindset shift. As care demand rebounds, here are four changes healthcare organizations need to keep in mind: 1. Safety concerns will persist Many delayed care during the pandemic because of safety concerns, and looking at the rest of 2021, 42% of respondents said they plan to continue delaying in-person care or are unsure. Even as demand returns, organizations will need to keep proactively communicating with patients about pandemic-related updates (e.g., COVID-19 safety protocols) and educating them on their options to reduce fear and foster trust. 2. Consumer demand for virtual care is here to stay Despite being a necessity over the last few months, our results show that patients have eagerly accepted virtual care and it’s here to stay. While the majority of consumers still prefer in-person care, there is significant continued demand for virtual visits, particularly for routine and mental healthcare. To capitalize on this interest and attract new patients, healthcare organizations should focus on building long-term hybrid care delivery models that offer consumers both in-person and virtual options where appropriate. 3. Care continues to move beyond the provider office The pandemic has shown consumers that they don’t always need to go into a provider office or hospital to receive care. In fact, when asked about their preferred setting for receiving routine care, nearly one-third of respondents prefer obtaining virtual care or visiting an urgent care or retail clinic. Also, 37% said that speed of access would have the biggest impact on where they sought care post-pandemic, second only to insurance coverage (48%), indicating an opportunity for organizations to win loyalty by expanding access to convenient care. 4. Online scheduling is a key part of the post-pandemic future Kyruus’ most recent consumer research, which found 43% prefer to schedule their appointments online. As the demand for digital care navigation grows, only accelerated by the pandemic, the bar for patient experience continues to rise. Healthcare organizations wishing to stand out need to invest in their online scheduling programs, enabling consumers to self-schedule a growing variety of services and appointment types. Want additional insight into the pandemic’s impact on patient preferences? Read our Patient Access Post-Pandemic Report.
With patients acting more and more like consumers of healthcare, it is increasingly important for healthcare organizations to appear in the place they look for care information. For many, that journey to finding a new provider or selecting a service starts online. However, with competitors–from other health systems and market disruptors, like Amazon, CVS, and Walgreens–also vying for their attention, competing effectively will require a robust digital strategy. To make sure you attract, engage, and convert patients online, consider these three areas:
Last week, the CDC reported that over 40% (142M) of Americans had received at least one dose and 30% (98M) had been fully vaccinated. While this is certainly worth celebrating, particularly as numbers continue to rise, it is worth digging into how these numbers are rising across demographics and in particular, races. For example, of those who reported their race/ethnicity to the CDC*, nearly two-thirds were White (65%), 11% were Hispanic, 8% were Black, 5% were Asian, 1% were American Indian or Alaska Native, and <1% were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Additionally, 9% reported multiple or “other.”
This blog was originally published on AWS.com on April 21. The last few months have brought a lot of highs: the approval of multiple COVID-19 vaccines, the vaccination of more than 86 million Americans, and an overall decline in cases nationally. At Kyruus, we have celebrated the success of our health system customers in facilitating vaccine access, who through our partnership, have scheduled over 400,000 vaccine appointments.
Last month, we invited Mike Dozier, VP Chief Information Officer at Ochsner Lafayette General, and Chris Castellano, VP of Customer Experience Channels at Banner Health, for a discussion on using the vaccine rollout to rebuild consumer relationships.
An interview with Sean Michaels, Vice President of IT Operations & Service Delivery at Health First, a not-for-profit integrated delivery network (IDN) serving Central Florida. The IDN includes health insurance plans, four hospitals, a multi-specialty medical group, and outpatient and wellness services.