COVID-19 Impact Survey Shows Surge in Consumer Demand for Digital Care Navigation and Delivery Post-Pandemic
- Kyruus Research Reveals New Opportunities for Healthcare Organizations to Differentiate Themselves as Care Demand Rebounds
Kyruus announced findings from a new survey of 1,000 people examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patient access experiences and preferences. The findings, published in the Patient Access Preferences Report: The Pandemic’s Lasting Impact, revealed that over 50% of respondents delayed some sort of care during the pandemic and, as people resume care in the coming months, the majority will seek a hybrid of virtual and in-person options. The full findings indicate that the pandemic has permanently elevated consumer prioritization of convenience and flexibility in both care access and delivery.
“This research underscores the importance of coupling clinical and consumer perspectives to maximize how much of the pandemic-driven innovation remains permanently.”
As the pandemic took hold, healthcare organizations quickly expanded their digitally-enabled access and delivery options, offering patients new ways to obtain care, such as virtual visits, alongside greater self-service capabilities like online scheduling. Patients embraced these options and the survey results signal that their experiences have led to a lasting mindset shift around access – suggesting that organizations that continue offering flexibility around booking and obtaining care will be in the best position to attract and retain patients.
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Notable findings include:
- The pandemic continues to disrupt in-person care. Among those who delayed care during the pandemic, 48% said they didn’t feel safe receiving care in person. Looking at the rest of 2021, 42% of all respondents plan to delay in-person care or are unsure.
- Hybrid care delivery is here to stay. While respondents still prefer in-person care overall, over 60% said virtual care will play a role in where they opt to get care in the future. Ongoing interest in virtual care is especially high for routine and mental health needs.
- Cost and convenience are top factors influencing where consumers seek care. Respondents ranked insurance accepted (48%) and ability to obtain timely care (37%) highest among key decision criteria. Less than 25% cited loyalty to a given organization.
- Online booking is consumers’ preferred method for COVID-19 vaccine scheduling. Nearly 60% of respondents said they would prefer to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments online, due primarily to online booking being convenient, easy, and quick.
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“As healthcare organizations envision what patient access will look like as we continually navigate through the pandemic, they are thoughtfully considering which adjustments to retain long term,” said Erin Jospe, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Kyruus. “This research underscores the importance of coupling clinical and consumer perspectives to maximize how much of the pandemic-driven innovation remains permanently.”
Kyruus conducted the survey of 1,000 people, spanning ages 18 to 65-plus, through Wakefield Research in March 2021.