Kentico Global Survey: Healthcare Provider 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


Bedford, New Hampshire – July 22, 2015 – 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:  while healthcare providers are, for the most part, using the web to better serve patients, they still have work to do. Kentico’s Patient Attitudes Toward Healthcare on the Web Survey is the latest installment of Kentico’s ongoing Digital Experience Research Series and the first to add EMEA and APAC opinions to its usual US-based findings.

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: 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 Kentico’s 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 B (good) or C (fair) rating. When it came to healthcare’s use of mobile to connect with patients, survey participants drifted more toward issuing a C 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:

#1: Ease of finding information and responses to questions

#2: Ease of contact via various preferred methods

#3: Healthcare professional biographies

#4: Information about healthy living topics like dieting, smoking cessation, or how to avoid the flu.

#5: Pleasant looking and easy to navigate site

#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.”

Kentico’s Patient Attitudes Toward Healthcare on the Web Survey is the ninth installment of an ongoing Digital Experience Research Series that Kentico has conducted since 2013. Previous surveys include:

Customer Experience Survey
Mobile Experience Survey
Email Marketing Survey
Website Marketing Survey
Digital Brand Interactions Survey
Content Marketing Survey
Non-Profit Online Donors Survey
New Year's Resolutions Survey

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.

Founded in 2004, Kentico is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner headquartered in the Czech Republic with offices in the US, UK, Netherlands, and Australia. Kentico has 1,000 digital agency partners and powers more than 25,000 websites across 100 countries. Customers include Bacardi, Twinings, Great British Chefs, Gibson, Mazda, Mighty River Power, Run and Become, Sony, and Vodafone. 

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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