In many practices, one of the biggest challenges they face is finding new patients for their practice. In some ways, technology has helped the situation, but in many ways technology has made this a real challenge for doctors.
Some recent data from Accenture Health provides an interesting look at one element of how patients find a medical practice.
— Accenture Health (@AccentureHealth) April 15, 2017
When I saw this number I was shocked that it was so low. In the past, this number has been so much higher since finding a doctor from your health insurance company was the simple, logical way to make sure you were choosing a doctor which would take your insurance. Times are a changing.
When you look at the full report and the graph on how people find doctors, we learn even more:
Coming as no surprise is that highly digital patients leverage social media, internet searches and health websites to find a doctor at a much higher rate than those whom are less digital. However, what’s shocking to me is how much less the highly digital patient trusts the medical professional versus those that are less digital.
Not surprising is that friends and family is one of the most important factors for finding a doctor regardless of digital skills. Of course, it’s worth noting that in many cases, social media is really synonymous with friends and family. Social media is just the next generation of friends and family influence and communication.
What’s important to realize about these charts is that patients are quickly shifting from the less digital to the more digital category. So, 5 years from now we’re going to see a massive shift with how people find doctors. Social media, internet searches, health websites, and online ratings and review sites are going to continue to grow and become more important to practices looking for new patients.
What are you doing to prepare for this future?