Healthcare Services Patients Value on the Internet

SONY DSCA recent Cisco survey found patients deeming the following things “valuable” online:

  • Appointment reminders (40%)
  • Treatment reminders (29%)
  • Discounts or coupons for health-related products (28%)
  • Info about clinical trials (22%)
  • Ways to review a healthcare experience (22%)
  • Online support groups for customers with similar health issues (19%)

Let’s start with the 40% who indicated they valued getting appointment reminders via the Internet. Email is a perfect medium to reach this group for reminders, whether for appointments, treatments or even invitations to physical events or virtual webinars.

Moving down the list, e-commerce retailers should pay attention to the 28% that expressed finding value in discounts for health-related products. Pharmacies and medical product businesses should consider new and creative ways to offer online discounts —via Twitter, Facebook, emails,  smartphone apps and company websites —and employ them to supplement current offline discounts (or create exclusive offers to foster loyalty).

As for the significance of consumers reviewing healthcare experiences (22%), check out my previous post: “Doctors, Hospitals Lead Online Reviews of Healthcare Services.” And for hospitals looking for reasons/ways to increase patient engagement via online support groups (19%), check out my colleage Melissa Mathews’ “Patient Engagement in Healthcare.”

The same study also showed that 30% use a computer or mobile device to check for medical or diagnostic information, which reinforces the need for consumer access to electronic health records and for the mobile-friendliness of healthcare websites.

Source: “Cisco Customer Experience Report for Healthcare.”


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Photo courtesy of thebarrowboy via Flickr.

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