In brief

In brief

  • The Accenture 2019 Digital Health Consumer Survey reveals the future of healthcare in England.
  • People are willing to try non-traditional healthcare services, where available, and their expectations redefine how they engage at each stage of care.
  • England’s health service faces unprecedented demand from consumers.
  • Taking advantage of non-traditional services will be a driver in meeting the demands of the population to ease the pressure on the health service.

Transparency, speed and convenience satisfy consumers

Satisfaction among healthcare consumers hinges on convenience and transparency about care. In fact, 67 percent of consumers in England say transparency about care is “critically important” or “very important” to their satisfaction with healthcare services. Also, wait time and speed of appointment is a top factor in determining satisfaction for 64 percent of those surveyed; 62 percent cite convenience of the appointment and 60 percent say convenience of location.

Non-traditional healthcare services are gaining popularity

If given the choice, consumers in England would choose non-traditional healthcare (emerging types of service delivery—i.e., walk-in or retail clinics, outpatient surgery hospitals, virtual health (via the phone, on video or apps), on-demand services or digital therapeutics) for a variety of services. Consumers would select non-traditional healthcare for cold/virus treatment (60 percent vs. 47 percent selecting traditional care). Interest in non-traditional remains high across several other services or ailments including physical injury (56 percent), STD screenings and treatment (50 percent), and even minor surgery (53 percent) and major surgery (47 percent).

Consumers would choose non-traditional for certain needs

Discerning consumers in England want their own mix of traditional and non-traditional care.

If given the choice, consumers in England would choose virtual for a variety of services

Some consumers, if given the opportunity, would select virtual services for having their annual physical exam (34 percent). More would select virtual services for an exam for a non-urgent condition (48 percent), a follow-up appointment (54 percent) and an after-hours appointment (56 percent).

Virtual care has become an appealing channel for consumers with more complex needs. For example, they would seek out acute mental health treatment (21 percent, compared to 11 percent of other consumers), physical injury treatment (21 percent, compared to 13 percent of other consumers), reproductive health (25 percent compared to 15 percent of other consumers) and routine cancer screenings (20 percent compared to 9 percent of other consumers).

Interest in virtual care is higher among consumers with more complex needs

Complex care needs align with greater openness to non-traditional care.

Evolving preferences show a need for transformation

People in England expect transparent, convenient and high-quality care. Healthcare consumers are more open to non-traditional services and channels and expect digital capabilities. If given the choice, consumers are open to non-traditional care delivered via walk-in or retail clinics and virtually.

Healthcare is evolving at speed—as are consumer expectations for new avenues of care delivery. Combining expectations and ability means the model for treating the sick will not only be about bringing patient and caregiver together, in person, but about combining digital services, self-service and virtual care to address new demands.

The future of healthcare in England will be about combining digital services, self-service and virtual care to address new demands.

Ashish Goel

Accenture UK Health Lead


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