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1 in 4 patients remain loyal to their healthcare provider because it’s easier to communicate with them digitally, alluding to a forthcoming surge in demand for digital offerings as technology-native generations increasingly take ownership of their healthcare, according to research from Patientco.

COVID-19 has been a catalyst for change within the healthcare industry as demand for consumer-friendly resources has increased tenfold. While healthcare systems’ main priority should always be patient health and safety, it shouldn’t end there — a core objective should include leveraging today’s digital innovations to propel patient engagement. This takes meeting patients where they are to fuel positive patient experiences and health outcomes. Patientco’s 2021 State of the Patient Financial Experience report found 1 in 4 patients remain loyal to their healthcare provider because it’s easier to engage with them digitally, a trend expected to continue as technology-native generations seek care.

The digital trends born during the pandemic are also here to stay. Nearly eight in ten providers plan to make their pandemic-driven telehealth policies permanent, even after COVID-19 subsides, demonstrating that patients are looking to engage with healthcare providers on their own terms.

A strong digital footprint is a critical component of a vibrant healthcare ecosystem. Healthcare providers realize that digital investments will be vital to their organization’s success and getting patients back in for care following the pandemic. Providers have made strides, but there remains an ongoing need for them to foster trust with their patients, especially when it comes to their finances. Concerns about out-of-pocket costs are the #1 reason patients have skipped or delayed healthcare — not fear of contracting COVID-19.

It’s clear that healthcare organizations should not stick with the status quo for their patient engagement strategy. There are ample opportunity — and demand — for better patient-provider interactions, from scheduling the patient’s first visit to accepting payment after treatment. The onus is on health system leaders to ensure every touchpoint of the healthcare journey reflects their commitment to achieving positive health outcomes for the patients and communities they serve.

Read the full report by Patientco, now a part of Waystar.

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