PORTLAND, Ore. — December 10, 2019 — Though patients say they want a health care experience that rivals the convenience and service they’ve become accustomed to with eCommerce, they aren’t yet putting their trust in large retailers or technology companies, according to a recent survey by Bright.md, the leading health care delivery automation company. In its Health Care Consumer Trust Survey, Bright.md found that more than two-thirds of those who responded said they most trusted their own doctor or hospital to provide care, while half indicated they would choose any provider or hospital over the retailers and technology companies that are increasingly entering the market.
Nine out of 10 patients do not trust retailers, like Best Buy and Walmart, to deliver health care services or protect health information. And the trust factor is even lower for companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook, which are making forays into the industry now with virtual care and health care information services.
“Our survey shows that a strong connection between patients and physicians still exists,” said Dr. Ray Costantini, M.D., CEO and co-founder of Bright.md. “Competition for attracting and retaining patients is at an all-time high. Patients want on-demand access to information and care that tech giants and retailers promise, but they aren’t yet ready to rely on those companies for their health care needs. For now, patients clearly prefer to use their own or other providers, who they are most likely to entrust with their care and personal information. These patient sentiments underscore the tremendous opportunity for health care systems and providers to maintain their current competitive advantage by delivering the convenience and access consumers have learned to expect in other parts of their lives.”
Key findings of the survey include:
- Consumers still overwhelmingly prefer their own doctor or hospital to provide health care services by a factor greater than 2x over urgent care and 7x over retail solutions.
- More than half of patients trust any provider or hospital to provide care, even though they overwhelmingly trust their own provider and hospital most.
- Only one in four patients trust their insurance companies to provide their health care. However, nearly half of them do trust insurance companies to handle their personal health information.
- In terms of personal information, patients put greater trust in doctors, hospitals and insurance companies. They are still wary of technology companies’ and retailers’ abilities to protect their private data. Only about 17% said they trust retailers with personal health care information.
- Virtual care is growing in popularity, up 53% according to the American Medical Association in June; 22% of respondents reported they have received web-based health care services.
“Retailers and tech giants are entering the health care space because they believe they can offer a unique mix of care and convenience that today’s empowered consumers want,” added Dr. Costantini. “However, for now, as consumers are taking on more responsibility for managing their health care, they prefer to look toward their current providers to meet their evolving expectations for innovative and convenient access to care, based on trust. Health systems should use this opportunity to offer their patients the convenient, modern healthcare experience they need to maintain and reinforce that trusted relationship.”