As our name implies, patients are at the center of everything we do—from the content we create to the technology we develop to share our education to help empower patients to live longer, healthier lives. We regularly seek out opportunities to ensure we’re staying on track to give patients exactly what they need at every touchpoint of care.
As part of our commitment to putting the patient first, we recently commissioned a survey1 of 2,005 Americans in collaboration with market research firm OnePoll to learn more about patients’ thoughts, feelings, wants and needs about the doctor’s office visit. Of particular interest to us: exploring the wait-time experience and asking about how point-of-care content and technology can ease anxiety, bridge knowledge gaps and ultimately increase engagement.
Read on to explore the survey’s key findings or get an overview of the top stats in our infographic.
Patients are anxious
Among the 2,000 Americans we surveyed, about two in five (39%) said they have felt anxious before going to the doctor. Why? Thirty-nine percent worry about what they might find out and 38% feel they don’t have enough information to help them prepare for their visit. When at their physician’s office, more than a third (35%) said both the waiting room and exam room cause them anxiety, for similar reasons. Fifty-one percent said it takes too long to be called for their appointment in the waiting room, and 48% were stressed about wait times in the exam room itself.
And anxiety doesn’t stop once patients leave the doctor’s office: Nearly half (48%) of Americans surveyed said they have left an appointment feeling confused.
Patients are afraid to speak up
American healthcare consumers are not only anxious, but they’re also afraid to ask questions. Half (51%) of Americans we surveyed who have a current healthcare provider said they are too afraid to ask their provider about their health condition or symptoms, with more men than women admitting they dread this interaction (57% vs. 45%).
Why the fear of speaking up? Seven in 10 (69%) survey respondents told us they were concerned they wouldn’t be able to understand the terminology their healthcare provider used in response to questions. And half said they worried that their physician would be insulted or get angry if they pushed to find out more about their condition. Survey results also uncovered that 69% of patients wish they knew how to describe their symptoms better before talking with their physician.
Patients want education and expect a tech-enabled experience
When asked what would make the doctor’s office experience better and more comfortable, one clear theme emerged among survey respondents: education. Fifty-nine percent of Americans we surveyed told us that they wish their healthcare provider would give them more educational materials on their symptoms, and 55% wish their physician would speak to them in more detail about treatments and medication. And when asked what would make the waiting room and exam room more comfortable, people favored being able to read or watch educational materials about their condition (47% and 48%).
But people don’t want just any education—they expect a modern, tech-enabled experience. Sixty-two percent of survey respondents told us that they want their doctor’s office to be more modern, with 78% wanting technology showcasing relevant education on their symptoms.
We are heartened by these survey results confirming the power of relevant, tech-enabled health education delivered at the point of care to transform the doctor’s office from intimidating to engaging. By leveraging technology to equip patients with the relevant education they want on their condition, we can empower them to speak up, ask questions, learn more about treatment options and ultimately live longer, healthier lives. And that’s exactly our point.
1This random double-opt-in survey of 2,005 nationally representative Americans was commissioned by PatientPoint between September 22 and September 30, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).