Consumerism in Healthcare New Research

Deloitte’s 2009 Survey of Healthcare Consumers

deloittereportIt never fails to amaze me the wonderful array of resources available online – for free. My latest find is Deloitte’s 2009 Survey of Healthcare Consumers.This is deloitte’s second annual survey of healthcare consumers attitudes, behaviors and unmet needs.

“The results of this study are conclusive: Consumers want better performance from their health care system. They think it is wasteful, inefficient, complex and expensive. They are frustrated that the tools useful to them in making decisions about their health are not readily available. They like innovations that result in lower costs and more convenience. They want better value for the dollars they spend and believe fundamental changes are necessary to achieve these goals.” (Source: Deloitte 2009 Survey of Healthcare Consumers)

Key findings from the study:

  • Most Americans find the healthcare system to be “complicated, expensive, wasteful, and under-performing.”
  • 94% believe that healthcare costs are a direct threat to their financial well-being.
  • More than half of those surveyed believe that at least 50% of all healthcare dollars are wasted.
  • 80% gave the healthcare system a grade of C or lower.
  • 54% claim to be actively pursuing knowledge/learning about their health and health risks including their mental health
  • “Trusted sources for information about providers are websites sponsored by doctors or medical practices (48%), medical associations (34%), independent health related
    websites (33%) and hospital associations (28%).”
  • 60% said they looked on the Internet for information about treatment options in the last 12 months.
  • Academic medical centers are among the most trusted sources of health information (50%).
  • 55% would like to be able to communicate with their healthcare provider (physician) via email.
  • 24% said they did not see a physician when they were sick or injured; 36% of those were uninsured.
  • 38% mentioned cost as the reason they did not seek medical care (70% of those were uninsured).
  • Among hospital users, satisfaction increased from 60% (2008) to 74% (2009).
  • 62% believe that hospitals vary in regard to quality; an increase from 55% in 2008.
  • 19% reported treating an ailment with an alternative or natural therapy.

I could go on and on. There’s a ton of data to cover. This is a fascinating study. The implications for healthcare marketers are numerous. In general, consumers are getting increasingly involved in their choice of provider and in seeking out health information. Download a copy of the report by going to and (under the ‘centers’ heading) clicking on Centers for Health Solutions. When that page loads, click on “Summary: 2009  Survey of Healthcare Consumers.” At the very bottom of that page, there’s a link for “attachments.” Click on that and you’ll get a PDF of the full report. If you click here, it will help you save a few steps. Then just go to the very bottom of the page for the attachments link.

Post by Dan Dunlop, The Healthcare Marketer

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