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Survey Shows How Consumers Find and Select Providers

November 28, 2017

A recent survey of 1,000 consumers aged 18 through 65 or older shows that more than half used the Internet when searching for physicians. Insurance, clinical expertise, and hospital or health system reputation were top criteria for selecting providers.

Referral from another health care provider was the preferred method (38%) for finding a primary care provider or specialist, but:

  • Nearly all consumers (90%) always or sometimes performed due diligence before booking appointments with providers
  • More than half (53%) consulted the Internet as part of that due diligence

When selecting providers, consumers ranked these criteria as extremely or very important:

  • Whether the provider accepted consumer’s insurance (93%)
  • Provider’s clinical expertise for condition being treated (86%)
  • The reputation of the hospital or health system (82%)
  • The availability of an appointment (82%)
  • Cost (77%) and location (77%)

Health system brand mattered. Three out of four consumers said that physicians’ affiliation with a hospital or health system was extremely or very important.

Most consumers (62%) still preferred booking appointments over the phone. Millennials are likely to change this trend, with 40 percent preferring to book online. 

Kyruus, a physician and technology-based organization founded to help health systems match patients with providers, conducted the survey through Wakefield Research during July 2017. All respondents had searched for a health care provider for themselves during the last two years. 

HAP has been supporting hospitals and health systems as they work to meet growing consumer expectations for transparency and convenience. For example:

  • HAP’s consumer-friendly Care in Pennsylvania website provides health care quality and cost information 
  • Healthy Me PA, a multi-channel social media effort supported by HAP, informs a growing digital community about navigating the health care system and innovative hospital efforts to improve access to care 

For more information, contact Phillip Burrell, HAP’s director, research and data analytics. For more information about Healthy Me PA, contact Julie Kissinger, HAP’s vice president, communications and public affairs.

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