SOURCE: Varolii

Varolii

October 09, 2012 09:00 ET

National Healthcare Consumer Survey: Patients Expect More From Their Healthcare Providers

Ongoing Provider-Patient Communication Lags -- 80 Percent of Americans Believe It's Their Doctor's Job to Keep Them Healthy, Not Just Treat Them When They're Sick

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - Oct 9, 2012) - Varolii Corporation, a market leader in cloud-delivered customer interaction management, today announced the results of a national survey of more than one thousand consumer adults across the United States. The survey revealed a fundamental shift in consumer expectations for healthcare providers -- consumers now expect their doctors to be there for them in both sickness and health. However, 70 percent of respondents say their doctor has never checked on them when they weren't sick in order to help them stay healthy.

"Today, quality healthcare goes far beyond the annual check-up or seeing a patient when they have the flu or are in pain," said Vance Clipson, healthcare market manager for Varolii. "It's no longer enough to treat patients when they are finally sick -- patient care must also include more preventative care and wellness programs to get them healthy and keep them healthy. Innovative healthcare providers are moving away from focusing heavily on acute care, and instead shifting their focus to proactive care, patient wellness and chronic disease management."

In fact, 50 percent of respondents believe that texts, emails or smartphone apps with tips, reminders and encouragement could have helped them avoid a health problem in the past. Despite this eagerness for more interaction, healthcare providers aren't delivering. One in four Americans does not feel that their healthcare provider is accessible to them when they have questions or concerns. And, 68 percent of consumers say their doctor has never sent them a text message or email for things like upcoming appointment reminders, discharge information, electronic health resources, etc.

"As an example, our survey found that 25 percent of people forget to take their medications on a regular basis. This is a huge problem for the healthcare industry, costing an estimated $300 billion annually. Healthcare providers have an opportunity to positively impact health and reduce costs with something as simple as a text message," said Clipson.

Clearly, patients are frustrated with the current state of communications with their doctor. With more than half of all consumers owning a smartphone, healthcare providers need to incorporate more immediate, digital forms of communications. Today, only one in five healthcare providers are currently sending emails to patients and even less are utilizing mobile channels like text messages (7 percent) or smartphone applications (4 percent).

"We are in the era of the informed, digital consumer. They want more information, sooner, when it suits them, and via the channel of communication they prefer. And, there aren't enough staff to communicate on only a manual basis -- automated solutions have a role to play here. Healthcare providers need to leverage personalized, multi-channel communications if they want to engage with their patients in a meaningful and effective way," said David McCann, CEO at Varolii.

"Healthcare organizations understand that positive proactive communication is a fundamental requirement for maximizing member participation while maintaining costs. To accomplish both, providers and members need resources that facilitate information sharing in a manner that is straightforward and immediate. This survey shows a real desire by consumers for a more interactive exchange with their healthcare providers," said Jay Dunlap, general manager at Landacorp, a leading provider of healthcare collaboration solutions. "As a Varolii partner, we see an opportunity to meet every member's basic care management communication needs in real-time. Proactive collaboration between members and providers is more than just the key to better health outcomes, it's essential."

Varolii Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) healthcare applications generate more than 150 million proactive multi-channel interactions with more than 12 million patients per year. More than 40 healthcare organizations use the Varolii Interact Platform for critical communications to boost enrollment, engagement and outcomes, increase medication adherence and refill volume, etc. Varolii works with three of the top five disease management companies.

About the Survey
The "Better Health through Better Communications" survey on healthcare consumer preferences and experiences was conducted by Wakefield Research, an independent market research firm, on behalf of Varolii in August 2012. The 1,001 respondents included American adults over the age of 18.

About Varolii Corporation
Varolii is a leading provider of customer interaction management applications. Our cloud-based communication service help organizations more effectively interact with large numbers of customers and employees through voice, text messages, smartphone applications and email, reducing cost of operations and improving service. The company's award-winning Interact platform enables companies to deliver personalized communication on a large scale, achieving better results from fewer interactions. More than 450 companies trust Varolii to manage more than four million interactions every business day. For more information, visit www.varolii.com.

Contact Information

  • For more information:

    Jessica Kendall
    Edelman PR
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