Has the pandemic changed the way patients want to interact with their providers? The simple answer is yes. The 2021 HIMSS survey, “Patient Communication Preferences in 2021,” shows that patients do want more digital communication, especially text messaging, and that age continues to be less of a barrier to electronic forms of communication.
Research for the 2021 HIMSS survey, “Patient Communication Preferences in 2021,” was conducted in March 2021 to understand how U.S. consumers:
A total of 250 people completed the survey during March 2021.
Consumers qualified for the survey by having an in-person, video, phone call, or text message communication with a healthcare provider in the past 12 months.
The survey pool represented a wide range of consumers along gender, age, and other census demographics. This was a blind data collection effort and no vendors were named.
How Have Communication Preferences Changed?
Patients used a variety of communications with their healthcare provider in the first 12 months of the pandemic.
Overall, the majority of patients enjoy text messages due to the convenience, specifically due to it being seen as an easier communication method that allows for quick/immediate viewing and prompt responses.
In order to receive more modern patient communication like text messages, over a third would be willing to switch providers.
Those under age 50 are the most likely to switch providers at 64 percent. However, one-third of those ages 50 and up are also willing to switch providers to receive more modern communication.
This new research supports past studies that have shown patients have been steadily moving toward a desire for more digital communication and ongoing connection with healthcare providers. It also challenges preconceived notions that age or location reduce people’s interest in options like text messaging. All patients, regardless of age, want more convenient communication options. Many are willing to change providers to get it.