ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--During the COVID-19 pandemic, patients became more aware of powerful options for accessing care and subsequently, the healthcare landscape may be irrevocably changed. Everything from self scheduling to precheck to actually seeing your provider in a virtual setting is not only possible, but seems to be practical and the preference for most patients. According to a new national survey conducted by the Harris Poll, on behalf of NextGen Healthcare, more than half of U.S. patients (53 percent) say the pandemic changed how they want to communicate with their doctor. Notably, nearly half (48 percent) indicate they would switch to a different healthcare provider if their current provider did not offer telehealth appointments.
Pandemic Changes What Patients Expect from Their Doctor
The online survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, including 1,733 who typically see a healthcare provider annually (“patients”), generated insights into their experiences and preferences related to online healthcare tools, including:
Telehealth is here to stay. An overwhelming majority of U.S. patients who received telehealth services since March 2020 (84 percent) plan to continue using telehealth appointments in the future, citing reasons such as convenience (43 percent) or to avoid being around people who are ill (39 percent). Other insights include:
- Telehealth can lead to better overall health by facilitating necessary ongoing and follow-up treatment: More than half of U.S. patients (57 percent) say they would be more likely to get follow-up medical care if telehealth appointments were an option.
- Nearly 7 in 10 U.S. patients (69 percent) have seen a healthcare provider via telehealth since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with 46 percent meeting with a primary care physician (PCP) and 19 percent meeting with a mental healthcare provider. U.S. patients have also seen a women’s health provider (15 percent of women), ophthalmologist (9 percent), and orthopedist (7 percent) via telehealth.
Online access is a must. Nearly 6 in 10 U.S. patients (58 percent) would like to have more online access to their healthcare provider. Age plays a role in this: Patients from 18-54 are significantly more likely than patients 55 and older to say they would like to have more online access to their healthcare provider (68 percent vs. 43 percent). Topping the list of most important online services patients would look for if seeking a new provider are:
- online appointment scheduling (49 percent)
- ability to check-in or complete health forms/appointment paperwork online before an appointment (49 percent)
- online prescription management (48 percent)
- online medical records access (47 percent)
“We saw a tremendous surge in demand for digital communication capabilities during the pandemic—in fact, we enabled our network of more than 100,000 providers nationwide to engage in over 1.5 million virtual visits from March to December 2020 through our large enterprise and small practice solutions,” said John Beck, chief solutions officer for NextGen Healthcare. “These survey results confirmed that patients’ overall expectations for healthcare have shifted permanently. Integrated healthcare technology is good for the patient and good for the practice.”
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of NextGen Healthcare from March 25-29, 2021 among 2,055 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 1,733 are patients (defined as those who see a healthcare provider once a year or more often). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact NextGen Healthcare.
About The Harris Poll
The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys in the U.S. tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963 that is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that delivers social intelligence for transformational times. We work with clients in three primary areas; building twenty-first-century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Our mission is to provide insights and advisory to help leaders make the best decisions possible. To learn more, please visit www.theharrispoll.com.
About NextGen Healthcare, Inc.
NextGen Healthcare, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXGN) is a leading provider of ambulatory-focused technology solutions. We are empowering the transformation of ambulatory care—partnering with medical, behavioral and dental providers in their journey to value-based care to make healthcare better for everyone. We go beyond EHR and PM. Our integrated solutions help increase clinical productivity, enrich the patient experience, and ensure healthy financial outcomes. We believe in better. Learn more at nextgen.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.