Gap between What Health Care Consumers Want – and Actually Get

February 29, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Email | Financial Services | Personalization | Pharma & Healthcare | Retail & E-Commerce

Consumers want access to technology and services that they are not receiving from healthcare providers – like online access to medical information and the price of physician/hospital services,?finds a Deloitte Center for Health Solutions survey.

Among the findings:

  • Some 88% of consumers surveyed want expanded use of in-home monitoring devices and online tools to reduce the need for visits and enable them to take a more active role.
  • Consumer also want to visit websites of physicians and hospitals to compare price and quality of offered services:
    • Physician websites – 65% would visit for pricing information, 67% to research quality of care.
    • Hospital websites – 62% would visit for pricing information, 64% to research quality of care.
  • Moreover, 46% say they would use a software program or website to create a personal health record. (One in four consumers already maintain some kind of personal health record.)

Consumers are sensitive to rising healthcare costs – more than 93% claim they are not?financially prepared for increases, the survey found:


Nevertheless, consumers are interested in the addition of new online services, and many say they are willing to pay their doctors extra for them, the survey found:


  • They want online access to medical records and test results – 78% want this service, 26% would pay more to get it.
  • Online services to schedule appointments – 72% want this from their doctors, and 18% would pay more for it.
  • Email access to their doctors – 76% are interested, and 23% would pay more for this service.
  • Similarly, they want such services from hospitals as well:


Healthcare consumers are already seeking care in non-conventional settings; according to the study, in the last 24 months…

  • 21% have purchased prescription medication online or by mail – 37% say they might do so in the future.
  • 16% have already used a retail clinic – 34% say they might do so in the future.

“More than anything, the findings convince us that Americans no longer see themselves only as patients, but as consumers who want to take greater control of their healthcare,” said Paul Keckley, Executive Director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.

“Consumers will redefine our healthcare market, but how they do it is the most important strategic question the health care industry must answer.”

About the survey: The “2008 Survey of Health Care Consumers” is a representative poll of 3,031 Americans between the ages of 18 and 75, conducted by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions Sept. 10-23, 2007.


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