When Titles Tell Tall Tales, Patients Can Suffer the Consequences

When Titles Tell Tall Tales, Patients Can Suffer the Consequences

“55% of Telehealth Providers Frustrated With OVERBLOWN Patient Expectations”

I was disappointed to read an inflammatory statement/title without any details on exactly what “overblown patient expectations” are.

Digging deeper, this report from United Health Group states: ”Looking inward, providers saw similar value for themselves in telehealth. Asked how they would describe telehealth, majority of respondents (69%) used the word convenient. Another 28% described virtual care as frustrating.”

Sounds like we are talking about of the 28% of providers that described telehealth care as “frustrating” then 55% (of the 28%) stated that managing patient expectations for their virtual visit was their key frustration.

What does managing overblown patient expectations mean?

Digging deeper still, this executive summary from Optum:

  • Page 8 says 1 in 4 providers stated #telehealth was “frustrating” due to the level of care they can provide.

  • 55% of these providers stated they were frustrated by patients expectations of what can be done virtually. [Serious question: is it bad that patients expect more from their telehealth experience? Consumers in other industries have high expectations and they are welcomed and attempted to be exceedingly met. Isn’t this also a form of patient engagement?]

Are patients expectations of what can be done virtually really too high & “overblown” or is this a clear example of the friction that exists because patients are sick of poor workflows, lack of access to digital health technology, & high rates of patient administrative burden, and healthcare clearly lagging in customer experience compared to other industries?

I would love to learn more specifics about what the overblown patient expectations are and how we can help meet (and gasp) exceed them. Assigning stigmatizing, negative labels to patients does not solve problems or alleviate friction.

Curious to hear your thoughts.


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