Not many people particularly like going to the Doctor. It’s estimated that only about 20% of Doctor’s visits are preventative or checkups. The reason most people go to the Doctor is for a cough. Consumers have come to expect the on-demand everything that has come with digital technology, new research shows those expectations have now moved into the medical realm.
● More than 90% of consumers surveyed said they would rather see a physician who offers email communication to his patients – even if there is an extra charge for that service
● Nearly 85% baby boomers go online to look for medical or drug information
● Over 60% of adults age 21 to 33 searched for online for information about a physician
● More than 40% of adults 21 to 33 also looked up the cost of medical procedures online
● Over 45% of adults 34 to 48 wanted to see lab results online
● Scheduling of doctors’ visits was something that was still something consumers preferred to do over the phone. More than 3 thirds preferred making appointments over the phone vs. 23% who wished to do it digitally
What This Means To You
While I’m not a doctor (nor, do I play one on T), medical information should be obtained for reputable sources. Consumers are searching for those sources online. If you are a medical professional, the digital space gives you a full range of customer service options. This can give your practice an incredible branding opportunity. That opportunity extends beyond just your web site. So many consumers are using social media for medical information. (I’m not sure that I would ask the same person who posts the cat playing piano video about the difference between having a cold or the flu). Becoming an information source for your patients can lead them to sharing your social posts and an increased patient base. Other digital tools that can help your practice stand out:
• Daily Health Tweets or texts
• After Hour Video Web Chats
• Mobile capabilities
Consumers are always looking for convenience. Beyond being a draw for younger consumers, integrating digital tools into your practice can help save you and your office space time and money.
For more information expanding your practice digitally, please contact:
Sources: iHealthBeat; CDC