Social media is transforming the way patients and care providers engage, monitor and review progress. In August 2012, Catalyst Healthcare Research conducted a study to explore new ways to improve the patient experience in the doctor’s office. The study was conducted via an online survey of 400 Baby Boomer patients (born 1945-1960) living in the U.S. To qualify, respondents had to have seen a doctor within the previous two years.
There were a few popular suggestions for actions physicians can take to make their patient experience better
- 88% Hand a patient a printed summary of their visit as they leave the office, including the diagnosis and recommended plan of action (Note: we believe the strong uptake of Health apps is to facilitate this note-sharing)
- 66% Offer an app that allows a patient to log in securely to see their test results, send private messages to the doctor, etc.
- 35% Offer free WiFi so that a patient can connect to the Internet while they are waiting to see the doctor
Conversely, behaviours that make the patient experience worse:
- 84% Spend most of your time typing on a computer, not making eye contact witha patient
- 67% Schedule a patient to see their doctor but then have a nurse practitioner visit with them
- 59% Avoid confronting or encouraging a patient to change their personal behaviors that are affecting their health (like smoking or obesity)
Patient expectations are changing, and likely to evolve even faster. Medical professionals who cling to perceptions formed during their early years are likely to be less effective with their more informed and connected patients, as well as miss opportunity to save costs and time. Where does your medical practice stand?