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Survey Finds Technology Is the New Determiner of Patient Satisfaction

EHR technology and the ways that providers use it to communicate with patients and physicians is affecting how satisfied stakeholders are with their hospital organizations. The insight is revealed within the eighth annual Black Book industry surveys of inpatient EHR users including hospital staff, managers, networked physicians, and patient panels.

"Involvement with health care consumers through technologies is proving to be a significant element of patient satisfaction," says Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book Research. "Health care consumers more frequently interact through electronic media in 2018, and while they value contact with their providers, they don't have the patience for lacks in hospital interoperability, incorrect billing, and access to scheduling and results."

Eighty-nine percent of health care consumers under 40 polled in this year's survey on hospital provider technologies disclosed they are unsatisfied with the technology capabilities of the health care organizations with which they seek services. Eighty-four percent assert they are seeking the most technologically advanced and electronically communicative medical organizations available for their health care alternatives.

In a time when technology makes communication almost instantaneous, younger generations of health care consumers have higher expectations and expressed a greater degree of dissatisfaction with their inpatient provider experience where complete medical records (92% dissatisfied) and telehealth (85% dissatisfied) options are not offered. "Patients expect and want to interact more with hospitals through digital channels like email, apps, and social media rather than interacting on a traditionally personal level with clinical and financial back office staff," Brown says.

In contrast, 78% of hospitals responding report they have not prioritized or budgeted more meaningful improvements in patient engagement, interoperability, or patient communications for the current calendar year 2018.

"The revenue cycle management channel of health care IT systems had the lowest positive experience," Brown says. "Hospitals are taking steps to improve it, but they have a way to go."

For 69% of surveyed consumers, the business office and insurance processes can be the most important moment when overall satisfaction of a hospital organization is concluded, for cases where patient care met expectations. "Part of this is probably due in part to patient expectations that have been set beyond most hospital's technological capabilities for interoperability with both other providers and payors," Brown says.

Eighty-eight percent of surveyed consumers blame the hospital system directly, not the EHR systems or financial technology for the lack in patient record portability and access among providers.

— Source: Black Book