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  • 31 August 2015 18:51

Global survey finds healthcare websites play an important role, but still need work

Top patient concerns include missing communication choices, lack of mobile support, and difficulty in finding information

Kentico Software, the provider of all-in-one CMS, E-commerce, and Online Marketing platforms, today unveiled the results of a global survey of web users in the healthcare market.

The top findings showed while healthcare providers are, for the most part, using the web to better serve patients improvements can still be made. .

According to this new survey, nearly three quarters (72 percent) of respondents feel that websites currently offered by healthcare providers could be more helpful.

The top criticisms include: an inability to contact healthcare professionals via the user’s preferred method of contact; difficulty finding the information they’re looking for; and the inability to chat with a healthcare representative via the website in real time.

Online Reviews and Automatic Notifications are hot - Social Media is not

According to the Kentico survey, 65 percent of survey respondents decide on which healthcare providers to use based on their website at least part of the time. Three-quarters (73 percent) rely on online reviews, while nearly a third (31 percent) of survey respondents called such online reviews “very important.”

Meanwhile, 69 percent reported finding value from receiving emails or text messages from a healthcare provider. The appeal of being texted with appointment reminders, guidelines for upcoming tests, or other useful information apparently runs very high.

One big surprise came in the area of social media. Social networks, in theory, give healthcare providers a forum through which to provide information. In practice however, 69 percent of patients surveyed don’t consider a social media presence important for healthcare professionals – perhaps because of the desire to keep healthcare-related data confidential.

Mobile Matters

When asked to grade healthcare providers on how well they have embraced the web, over half of survey participants were tied between issuing a ‘good’ or ‘fair’ rating.

Nearly one-third of survey respondents expressed some difficulty in accessing and navigating healthcare-related sites through a mobile device, while 43 percent said they typically visit healthcare-related websites via a desktop computer.

While patients put mobile text messaging with healthcare providers towards the top of the list of communication choices, only 19 percent report being able to communicate with providers this way – and 37 percent say they can’t even reach providers via email.

Desired Website Features

When asked which website features they desired most from a healthcare provider, ease of contact ranked highest with ease of access to information ranking a close second. The complete wish list of website features, as ranked by patients, follows:

Number 1 - Ease of finding information and responses

Number 2 - Ease of contact via various preferred methods

Number 3 - Healthcare professional biographies

Number 4 - Information about healthy living topics like dieting, smoking cessation, or how to avoid the flu

Number 5 - Pleasant looking and easy to navigate site

Number 6 - Photos of healthcare facilities and the professionals working there

“Using the web to communicate in regulated industries such as healthcare is challenging,” said Kentico CEO and Founder Petr Palas. “However, healthcare providers seem to have made significant strides in recent years in the use of the web to connect with patients in meaningful ways.”

Palas continued, “Patients are reacting positively to what they have seen so far, but clearly they want much more. The survey suggests that healthcare providers need to continue to adapt to the mobile, real-time habits of future generations.”

More than 1,000 Internet users 18 years old and over participated in Kentico’s Patient Attitudes Toward Healthcare on the Web Survey, conducted online from June to July 2015 in three major geographies where the company does business: North America (United States), EMEA (United Kingdom, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Netherlands), and APAC (Australia, and New Zealand).

About Kentico Kentico is an all-in-one CMS, E-commerce, and Online Marketing platform that drives business results for companies of all sizes both on-premise or in the cloud. It gives customers and partners powerful, comprehensive tools and customer-centric solutions to create stunning websites and manage customer experiences easily in a dynamic business environment. The Kentico Web Content Management Solution‘s rich selection of out-of-the-box web parts, easy customizations, and fully-documented API quickly gets websites operational. When combined with the full set of integrated solutions, including Online Marketing, E-commerce, Online Communities, and Intranet and Collaboration, Kentico fully optimizes the digital customer experience across multiple channels.

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