What patients want from healthcare

UnknownPOST SUMMARY: I spent a lot of time this year leading qualitative research along with analyzing quantitative research.  I keep all the research report findings in a binder and while it’s true that a lot of the insights can’t be applied across all health conditions there are some common needs/wants.  Here are some of the most common..

1ne: Insurers, drug companies and HCP’s often don’t understand what we are going through – By far the biggest issue was the lack of empathy once someone enters the healthcare transaction model.  Patients and especially caregivers want to be heard, and want to better understand the best places to go online for health information and support.


2wo: The world of online health information is often confusing – Too many sites, too much conflicting information and information that’s too hard to understand.  I want to be able to discuss what I found online with my doctor but they often either don’t have the time or I don’t have the time to make an appointment to talk with someone.

3hree: Drug company websites are just a brief stop in the search for online health information – Trust is a key factor, but also most found that drug company websites have too much “sales information”.

4our: The doctor still knows best – Trust among HCP’s remains high.

5ive: No, I don’t want or need an app – Apps, for most, are a reminder that they have a health problem, but patients are using wellness apps to track things like steps and activity levels.  Most doctors don’t care about health & wellness apps though.

6ix:Cost is playing a bigger part in treatment choices – I heard this at a lot of sessions with patients saying that they would choose a lower cost treatment if possible.

7even: Sure, I use WebMD but I’m not going to make a treatment decision based on what I find on one website – There are a lot of choices and the search for health information does start with Google and leads to a lot of sites.  Patients were frustrated that the top Google search results often led to different pages within WebMD.


8ight: Community sites that sell my conversations are suspect – “No, I don’t want to register to read posts from others and I don’t want to see ads for MS treatments following me because I went to Patients Like Me”.

9ine: I want my pharmacy to tell me when there is a possibility that two or more drugs I am taking could conflict with each other.

10en: “I don’t want to be just another person seeing the doctor.  I want them to show me they understand what I’m going through and follow up with me.

11leven: I don’t use my mobile device to casually search for health information.  There are triggers that lead to mobile health searches.