59% of consumers want digital healthcare to mirror retail

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Healthcare consumers are looking for a mobile experience similar to that of mobile retail. (Image: Apple)

About two-thirds of U.S. healthcare consumers want their digital interactions to be similar to a retail experience. According to research findings from HIMSS18 by NTT DATA Services, healthcare users want to fill prescriptions, access test results and make doctor appointments using a simple, digital customer experience. 

“Consumer-focused brands with rich, engaging content, interactions and features have changed the landscape in digital customer experience, and healthcare is lagging behind,” said Alan Hughes of NTT DATA Services. “As patients seek seamless care to bring together services related to diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and health promotion, healthcare appears ripe for its own digital transformation.”

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The research categorized demanding consumers who are impatient and not reluctant to switch doctors as "explorers." And almost 80% of these explorers say that digital interactions in healthcare need to improve and half of them would leave this current doctor simply for a better digital experience. 

Similar to retail, many users are making the transition from desktop and web to mobile, but the mobile experience lacks the east of use and features. In fact, 62% of respondents said they were not able to accomplish want they want to do on mobile, 42% found mobile options not relevant, and 40% said it took too long to complete. 

According to studies from 2017 the three major reasons for high mobile abandonment rates in the U.S. include difficulty in typing on mobile; complications with the process; and time restraints. 

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Of the healthcare tasks discussed, consumers felt like searching for a doctor was the area that needed most improvement, 81%; followed by accessing family health records, 80%; and changing/making an appointment, 79%. 

Hughes added that as the age demographics shift, healthcare organizations will increase their emphasis on the digital customer experience. And Although digital experience may only have a small impact on overall health decisions made for consumers today, that will chance. As with retail, organizations that stay ahead of the trend will be best suited for the future.