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Accessible care more important to patients than care quality, survey says

Published January 03, 2019 on beckershospitalreview.com.

Over half of patients (51.3 percent) say convenient, easily accessible care is the most important factor in their healthcare decision-making — ranking more important than care quality (34.6 percent), according to NRC Health’s 2019 Healthcare Consumer Report.

NRC Health, which provides in-depth customer intelligence in healthcare, based its report on insights from more than a million healthcare consumers nationwide and insights from U.S. healthcare leaders.

Convenience also mattered more to patients than brand reputation (39.8 percent); interpersonal conduct of physicians and nurses (44.2 percent); and insurance coverage (46.4 percent), the report found. The majority — 80 percent — of patients said they select providers based on convenience factors alone.

“If hospitals want to improve patient relationships and keep patients within their facilities, they will need to build sustainable models to support frontline staff and free up their time,” said Joe Ness, COO at Portland, Ore.-based OHSU Healthcare. “Because healthcare’s a people business. There’s no substitute for that.”