2022 Healthcare Consumer Acquisition Trends to Watch
Healthcare consumer acquisition trends have changed a lot since we last covered them in this blog and they continue to change through the pandemic. Long gone are the days of doing the same old, same old with healthcare acquisition practices. More effort and intention has to be put into patient engagement, care and privacy.
The changes have either reflected consumer shifts in behavior or are a result of the shifts patients (or members of health insurance plans) have made over the last two years. These are just a few trends at the top of our radar.
In-Person Patient and Member Engagement
Virtual doctor visits are here to stay, but the demand healthcare saw in telehealth visits at the beginning of the pandemic is waning. A 2021 survey found that 80% of patients prefer in-person appointments over telehealth and another survey found that over 60% want little to no video visits after the pandemic.
Healthcare consumers are eager to feel a sense of normalcy again that involves actually going to the doctor’s office. It’s still important to have options in order to provide the flexibility patients are used to, but providers need to make sure all visits bolster healthcare consumer engagement, especially when a patient opts to visit in person.
Important to note, there are still specific types of healthcare consumers that want telehealth visits. PatientBond has identified two psychographic segments that make up more than 70% of the utilizers of telehealth. These patient types appreciate the convenience and immediacy of telehealth visits, and the key to maximizing this channel of care is to identify these psychographic segments in a patient population and make them aware of this service.
Currently, healthcare providers and insurers are among the many industries having a difficult time retaining and attracting employees. And unfortunately, this can wreak havoc on patient and member acquisition.
Fewer doctors, physicians and nurses mean fewer people to care for patients and fewer opportunities to be attentive to their needs, hurting health outcomes. Patients want the best care possible and they will look for other options if they aren’t being cared for well or their provider doesn’t have the options they need.
Less administrative staff also means marketing and brand awareness efforts fall between the cracks as attention is focused solely on care requirements. Post-visit follow-up is also affected as remaining staff are unable to dedicate the necessary hours to manual phone calls and attempts to reach patients.
Automating these processes can relieve staff of these burdens and maximize patient outreach. A digital patient engagement platform like PatientBond can power a practice’s marketing efforts as well as patient follow-up with little staff involvement, freeing them to focus on care delivery and running the operation. PatientBond has saved providers countless staff hours and secured patient appointments through digital patient engagement.
Privy to Data Privacy
Patients and members are very cautious of sharing their health information and it’s no surprise as to why. In 2021, the healthcare industry hit an all-time high of data breaches, affecting 45 million people. The year prior, it was 34 million people.
If providers and insurers want patients to feel secure in sharing their information, they must beef up their security protocols and make it a top priority, especially as interactions increase online. Continue to stay up to date on the latest protocol and give the IT department the support it needs including infrastructure and staff. A strong IT department is the best defense.
In the 90s, Amazon was known as an online bookseller, but today, they’ve grown into a massive business entity that offers numerous goods and services including healthcare. This is just one example of the many new competitors that providers and insurers have to look out for, especially primary care. Patients and members are gaining more options and if they’re open to trying something new, they can.
Providers have been flocking to social media for some time now, but now doctors, nurses, physicians, nurses and more are becoming their own influencers, garnering traction on platforms like TikTok. For a provider or insurer, collaborating with influencers is a great way to build credibility and promote services to attract new patients and members.
There are plenty of patient acquisition hurdles in 2022. While it may not be easy to overcome some of these, they will help you plan for the future and beyond 2022.
With that said, staying on top of technology is just as important as staying on top of patient acquisition trends. Learn more about how to engage patients through technology by reading our whitepaper.