Each year we survey 500+ Australians to get a better understanding of patient expectations and preferences across the patient journey. The aim of the survey is to measure the gold-standard patient experience so clinics looking to improve their service-delivery know where to place their focus.
There were several significant takeaways from this year’s survey, many of which were backed up by the findings we first uncovered in last years survey.
1. Two in five patients believe their last in-person GP appointment could have been done just as effectively by telehealth
Forty-two percent of Australians believe their last in-person GP appointment could have been done just as effectively by telehealth. This is an interesting finding considering Harry Nespolon, President of the RACGP, said earlier this year that the number of consultations that could be done appropriately via telehealth was about 40%.
When it comes to appointment types, patients overwhelmingly prefer telehealth for consults related to results follow-ups (69%), referrals (69%) and renewing prescriptions (76%), and prefer in-person appointments for consults related to acute problems (76%), mental health checks (59%) and check-ups for children (69%).
2. Three in five patients check a new practice’s Google reviews before choosing them
Sixty-one percent of patients say they check a practice’s Google reviews before choosing them. This is up 7% from 54% in 2019. When asked if seeing a clinic’s Google rating would help sway them one way or another, 77% of patients said they would be more likely to book with a practice that had a 4+ star rating and 69% said they would be less likely to book with a practice that had 3 stars or less.
Want to learn how to turn Google reviews into your practice’s greatest marketing asset? Take our free online workshop: How Google Reviews Affect Your Practice Reputation.
3. Two thirds of patients prefer to fill out a new patient form online
Sixty-six percent of patients prefer to fill out a digital new patient form prior to their appointment, while just 11% of patients prefer paper forms and 23% aren’t fased one way or the other.
Interestingly, in metropolitan clinics 78% of patients say they would prefer to use a digital form over a paper form. This is a jump of 7% from 71% in 2019, likely an impact from COVID which has driven demand for contactless forms.
4. SMS is four times more popular than any other method when it comes to receiving appointment reminders
Seventy-two percent of patients prefer SMS reminders, while 18% prefer email reminders, 9% phone calls and 1% letters. This means the popularity of SMS has jumped 10% since 2019 (when 62% of patients preferred SMS). Across all the findings pulled from our survey, this was the biggest leap in patient behaviour change.
5. More than half of patients prefer to check-in via mobile or kiosk
The majority of Australians (51%) prefer to check-in digitally—37% prefer mobile check-in and 14% kiosk check-in—while the remaining 49% of patients prefer in-person check-in.
In metropolitan areas 67% of patients prefer digital check-in. This dropped to 48% in suburban areas, 40% in regional areas and 32% in rural areas.
Interested in seeing how your clinic measures up to Australian patient expectations in 2020?
Use our free Practice Health Check tool. By completing the check, we’ll provide an in-depth assessment of how your clinic stacks up. We’ll also send you customised content that outlines some small changes you can make that deliver big results.