How Modern Communication Patterns and Expectations Affect Medical Practices

When communication technology changes, medicine changes. The telephone, for instance, was already being used for medical care just three years after its invention, and practice today would be unimaginable without it.1

Now, with the rise of the Internet, text-based messaging, and digital telephony, a communications sea change is upon us once again, but this time, medicine has fallen behind. The modern patient is developing needs and expectations that the typical healthcare organization isn’t meeting, and it’s time to understand them or risk losing the connection altogether.

Don’t take our word for it, though; check out the key stats below for the high-yield numbers on how modern communication patterns and expectations are inescapably impacting medical practice. Then download our full ebook on the subject for free and complete the whole story, including a straightforward way out of the mess.

The Mind-Bending Stats Behind Modern Communication and Medical Practice

Rise of Mobile and Texting

  • Less than 25 years ago, nobody on Earth had ever sent a text message. Now, we send more than 6 billion every day in the U.S. alone, and that’s not a typo.2,3
  • 95% of Americans now own a cell phone.4
  • 30% of people no longer listen to their voicemail.5
  • 75% of millennials would rather text than talk with customer support.5
  • 82% of people want to contact companies through means other than phone or email.6
  • 4 out of 5 people find it frustrating or worse to be stuck by a phone or computer while waiting for customer support.5
  • A third of people don’t ever want to be put on hold, and another quarter are unwilling to wait there even 1 minute.7
  • 84% of people use online self-service resources to solve their customer support issues, more than choose the phone or any other channel.8

New Expectations: On-Demand, Self-Service, and Well-Vetted

  • The average wait time is now more than 18 days for a new patient to see a physician.9
  • Patients rank the ability to be seen quickly and without an appointment 1st on a list of more than 50 possible features of a medical clinic.10
  • 67% of patients might consider a virtual visit when their regular provider is not available within 1 day.11
  • 7% of patients will switch providers to get access to virtual visits.12
  • 2 out of 3 people would choose a physician who offers a patient app over one who does not.13
  • Medical record portal sites struggle to break 30% adoption among patients, despite wide availability and reimbursement incentives.14,15
  • Nearly 20% of patients report contacting their physicians via social media, often despite physician resistance or institutional policies forbidding it.16
  • 2 out of 3 patient calls involve an administrative task, such as appointment scheduling or medication paperwork.17
  • A 1-star increase in a restaurant’s Yelp rating leads to a 5–9% increase in its revenue.18
  • 25% of the American population uses a physician review site in any given year, with 59% of people considering them important in selecting a doctor.19

Download the Full eBook to Complete the Story

You know intuitively that the phone call is no longer the only game in town and that the demands of human health don’t respect business hours or busy signals. Now you’ve seen some of the data supporting those thoughts.

It’s time to act on this new reality and take your practice where it needs to be to continue reaching patients effectively.

To see the full story, including some immediate and simple solutions to the problem, download our full ebook right now for free:

Gated eBook: How Modern Communication Patterns and Expectations Affect Medical Practices

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  1. The Lancet. Notes, Comments, and Answers to Correspondents: Practice by Telephone. Lancet 819 (1879).
  2. BBC News. Hppy bthdy txt! BBC News (2002). Available at: (Accessed: 30th August 2017)
  3. O’Grady, M. SMS Usage Remains Strong In The US: 6 Billion SMS Messages Are Sent Each Day. Forrester Research, Inc.: Michael O’Grady’s Blog (2012). Available at: (Accessed: 19th August 2016)
  4. Pew Research Center. Mobile Fact Sheet: Demographics of Mobile Device Ownership and Adoption in the United States. Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech (2017). Available at: (Accessed: 23rd August 2017)
  5. Harris Poll & OneReach. The High Demand for Customer Service via Text Message: 2014 U.S. Survey Report. (Harris Poll on behalf of OneReach, 2014).
  6. Gladly. 2017 Customer Service Expectations Survey. (Gladly, 2017).
  7. Velaro & Langan, M. How Long Will You Wait On Hold for Customer Service? PRWeb (2012). Available at: (Accessed: 23rd August 2017)
  8. Leggett, K. et al. Trends 2016: The Future Of Customer Service. (Forrester Research, 2016).
  9. Miller, P. 2014 Survey: Physician Appointment Wait Times and Medicaid and Medicare Acceptance Rates. (Merritt Hawkins, an AMN Healthcare Company, 2014).
  10. Marketing and Planning Leadership Council. What Do Consumers Want from Primary Care? 10 Insights from the Primary Care Consumer Choice Survey. (The Advisory Board Company, 2014).
  11. Marketing and Planning Leadership Council. What Do Consumers Want from Virtual Visits? 15 Insights from the Virtual Visits Consumer Choice Survey. (The Advisory Board Company, 2017).
  12. Modahl, M., Meinke, S., American Well & Harris Poll. Telehealth Index: 2015 Consumer Survey. (American Well, 2015).
  13. Steinfeld, J., Salesforce Research & Harris Poll. 2016 Connected Patient Report: Insights Into Patient Preferences on Telemedicine, Wearables and Post-Discharge Care. (Salesforce, 2016).
  14. Neuner, J., Fedders, M., Caravella, M., Bradford, L. & Schapira, M. Meaningful use and the patient portal: patient enrollment, use, and satisfaction with patient portals at a later-adopting center. Am. J. Med. Qual. 30, 105–113 (2015).
  15. Advisory Board. The truth about patient portal use. Advisory Board (2015). Available at: (Accessed: 24th August 2017)
  16. Lee, J. L. et al. Patient Use of Email, Facebook, and Physician Websites to Communicate with Physicians: A National Online Survey of Retail Pharmacy Users. J. Gen. Intern. Med. 31, 45–51 (2016).
  17. Nason, J. C. Telephone Usage at Mercy Hospital’s Primary Care Practices. University of Southern Maine USM Digital Commons (2015).
  18. Luca, M. Reviews, Reputation, and Revenue: The Case of (Working Paper 12-016). HBS Working Paper Series (2011).
  19. Hanauer, D. A., Zheng, K., Singer, D. C., Gebremariam, A. & Davis, M. M. Public awareness, perception, and use of online physician rating sites. JAMA 311, 734–735 (2014).

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