More than one in two Australians (51%) prefer to check in digitally—via mobile or a touchscreen kiosk.
Although a sizeable number of Australians prefer an in-person experience when checking in for a medical appointment (49%), there are an even greater number of people who would rather check in via a mobile or touchscreen kiosk (51%).
This was one of the findings from our annual survey of Australians, Patient Survey 2020, where we discover what expectations patients have of general practices.
Three in four Australians under 30 years old prefer digital check-in to in-person check-in
The younger your patients, the more likely it is that they’ll prefer digital check-in. In fact, a whopping 77% of those aged 18-29 would rather check in digitally for their appointment than with an actual person.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, as patients’ ages rise, so does their preference for in-person check-in. For instance, just 34% of those aged 30-44 prefer in-person check-in, compared to 58% of people between 45-59 years of age, and 81% of those aged 60 and above.
Two in three metropolitan patients prefer digital check-in to in-person check-in
Where people live also tends to play a role in their check-in preferences. For instance, metropolitan patients strongly prefer digital check-in (67%) over check-in that occurs in person (33%). By contrast, 52% of suburban patients and 59% of regional patients prefer an in-person check-in.
Mixed billed patients are the most in favour of digital check-in
Practice billing type can also be suggestive of patients’ check-in preferences. For instance, of the 503 Australians we surveyed, mixed billing patients most preferred digital check-in (60%), followed by private billing patients (48%), then bulk billing patients (43%).
Patients who typically book medical appointments online are twice as likely to prefer digital check-in
According to our survey findings, the way a patient schedules a medical appointment can indicate their preference (or lack thereof) for digital check-in. For instance, 65% of patients who typically book online prefer digital check-in. By contrast, those who typically book doctor appointments over the phone are significantly less likely to want to check in digitally (44%).
Slightly more Australians (51%) prefer digital check-in to in-person check-in (49%).
Digital check-in is most desirable among patients who are younger, urban, and more adept with technology—as evidenced by the fact that they typically schedule their medical appointments online, rather than over the phone.
Of course, the inverse is also true. Digital check-in is less popular among those who are older, more rural, and less comfortable with technology.
So what’s the takeaway for general practices? Of course, there is no one-size-fits all check-in solution that works for all patients, but this is why it’s important to provide your patients with the option at least to check-in by mobile. If they choose to check-in at the desk patients can, but if they prefer to use their phone they also have the choice.
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