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New report from NRC Health analyzes healthcare trends through pediatric lens

NRC Health, the leading provider of in-depth customer insights in healthcare, today released its 2021 Healthcare Consumer Trends Report: Pediatrics, its first trends report solely focused on the evolving sentiments of pediatric consumers and their caregivers through the lens of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Based on millions of data points captured from hundreds of thousands of consumer households, the report discusses several topics of crucial importance to pediatric healthcare leaders today, including shifts in consumer brand loyalty, the emergent role of telehealth and innovation in digital communication channels.

“Pediatric providers across the country are grateful that their patients have largely been spared from the health implications of the COVID-19 virus itself. But that should not suggest that they avoided the pandemic’s impact altogether,” said Helen Hrdy, Chief Growth Officer at NRC Health. “As we have learned more about COVID, we have to pause and take stock of how our pediatric populations have fared in order to better care for them in a post-COVID world.”

How have parental needs shifted in the months since COVID-19 began? How are they likely to evolve? How can pediatric care organizations maintain meaningful connections – and achieve true human understanding – with these customers? These are the questions that the 2021 Healthcare Consumer Trends Report: Pediatrics will attempt to address.

Report Highlights:

  • Brand loyalty is more resilient in pediatric populations – Among adults, specific brand preference declined about 5% from 2019 to 2020; in the same period, pediatric customers’ specific brand preference declined by only 2.2%.
  • The top driver of pediatric provider choice is quality, not convenience – For the general population, the top drivers of provider choice are convenience factors, like drive-time and appointment availability. For pediatric customers, the top driver is quality, with 52% of parents reporting that “quality medical providers” is their primary motivator in selecting a provider.
  • Telehealth saw broader adoption in pediatrics – The contrast in utilization rates compared to the general population is particularly stark: 51% of parents report using telehealth for a child’s healthcare needs in 2020, compared to just 22.1% of adults using it for their own care.
  • Virtual care may have more longevity in pediatrics – Almost 50% of parents plan to use e-visits for their children in the future, compared to just 27% of adults.
  • 80% of parents want providers to take stock of wearable tech data – NRC Health data shows that 80% of parents want their children’s doctors to ask about wearable tech data, but only 58% report such conversations ever taking place.
  • Parents increasingly use social media as source of healthcare information – When it comes to staying informed about healthcare, 50% of parents use social media as a key source of healthcare information, and 60% invest a high level of trust in what they see—as long as it comes from healthcare-organization sites and profiles.

Released to industry attendees at last week’s virtual 2021 NRC Health Pediatric Collaborative, the 2021 Healthcare Consumer Trends Report: Pediatrics is based on the single largest database of healthcare consumers, with sentiment data from more than 300,000 American households sourced from more than 580 healthcare organizations across all 50 states.