Patients want physicians to have online presence, communication, billing options.

A good online presence and being digitally-savvy physicians can help them attract new patients and get paid when care is complete.

A new survey examined perceptions of physicians and technology among 2,000 patients earlier this year. Among the findings:

- 73% said they keep a “mental scorecard” of the things they like and don’t like in a new physician's office.
- 60% said they would likely select one doctor over another if they could make appointments online.
- 61% consider it easy to make payments when evaluating whether to continue seeing a physician.

The results were published in “2022 Patient Experience Report: What Patients Really Think.” Primary care physicians were among the most seen, with 27% of patients reporting they had visited a primary care office in the previous 18 months, second only to dermatologists, seen by 30% of patients.

Online options for patients

In the survey, 69% of patients said it is important for physicians’ offices to have modern-looking websites; 33% of patients said they visit physician websites before going to an appointment, but about 66% of patients said they would be more likely to order nonprescription-related products from their doctor’s website over an online store.

Using the latest technology is important to 90% of patients, and 46% said they prefer their physicians to use a tablet to take notes.

Online reviews were important to 74% of patients, and 48% of patients said they consult those reviews before making a selection.

When deciding to see the same physician, 61% of patients said it is important to make online appointments, and the same percentage said it was important to make payments easily.

Timeliness and wait times were important to 79% of patients, who agreed 31 minutes is acceptable for waiting room time and 84 minutes is acceptable for exam room time. Physicians being personable and engaged was important for 67% of patients, and 33% said they had switched doctors due to unfriendly staff. In the waiting room, 75% said staff friendliness is important, and 68% wanted a fast check-in process.

For contacting physicians’ offices, 68% of patients said it is frustrating to leave a telephone message and wait for a callback. Instead of the phone, 47% said they prefer email, text or an online portal for follow-up communications.

Online options are important for billing – 59% of patients were more likely to pay a bill faster if given an online option, the survey said.










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