The Doctor’s Office – Location Matters

HOUSTON – (By Dale King, Realty News Report) — While cost is crucial to patients when choosing a healthcare provider, location and convenience of the medical facility also rank high in the decision-making process, according to JLL’s newly released Healthcare Patient Consumer Survey.

“It’s not surprising that cost is the No. 1 factor for patients, but convenience is also key when making healthcare-related decisions,” said Jay Johnson, U.S. Practice Leader, Healthcare Markets, JLL. “Patients want to get care quickly and move on with their day.”

“By providing a broad coverage network and optimizing site selection, providers can deliver convenient care for patients, which was shown to improve a patient’s overall experience and the likelihood that they will return to the provider,” Johnson added.

JLL Survey of 4,000 respondents

The JLL study – conducted among 4,000 respondents — notes that location and convenience also impact the healthcare experience, which, along with the quality of service provided and the comfort of the facility, drive positive experiences that entice patients to return to a particular provider.

The survey also said that 80 percent of responders evaluating primary and preventative or specialist care noted that acceptance of the patient’s insurance is a must — one of the top five factors when deciding to select a healthcare provider. Location and proximity ranked as the second-most-likely factor for all types of care, aside from outpatient behavioral health, which the survey ranked third.

After insurance and location, physician quality and reputation ranked highly as factors in a healthcare decision. In fact, more than 40 percent of respondents placed it in the top five rankings in all categories.

Referrals play a larger role in specialist, outpatient surgery and inpatient care, says the survey, with 45.5 percent, 52.6 percent and 50.5 percent of respondents placing it in the top five, respectively. Recommendations from friends ranked most highly for behavioral health, given the personal nature of such care. It was ranked in the top five by 31 percent of respondents.

JLL found that quality of service affects patient experience the most, followed by comfort of facilities. In addition, respondents noted that the age of care facilities does not have a significant impact on patient experience, meaning that through quality maintenance and attention to details that affect patient comfort like waiting rooms, cleanliness and safety, a healthcare provider can use a little elbow grease to keep an older facility ship-shape and pleasant.

“Designing facilities for patient comfort and implementing a strong facilities management program can create more positive experiences and increase loyalty,” said Alison Flynn Gaffney, President of the Healthcare Division at JLL.

Making locations convenient by placing them close to other errand sites, in retail locations or in small offices in neighborhoods, can improve patient experience, she added. More than 58 percent of those who evaluated a healthcare experience went to an additional location as part of the trip, which could benefit retail stores and play into a retail center’s larger strategy when selecting tenants.

JLL found that the younger the person, the less likely they are to use primary care, as younger generations apply a “wait-until-it-breaks model” versus proactively seeking regular care. The survey says nearly 80 percent of adults 65 and older have two or more chronic conditions, increasing their need for continuous care, and more than 70 percent of Baby Boomers received primary and preventative care within the last year, as opposed to only 26 percent of Gen Z. Millennials and Gen Z were also more likely to report receiving urgent care, emergency care and outpatient behavioral health than other generations.

The survey suggested that providers can do well by locating urgent and standalone emergency care centers near younger populations to improve access and wait times, make it easier to find or schedule same-day appointments with a primary care provider and increase transparency of costs for sick visits for urgent and primary care – as younger generations with less savings may postpone care due to concerns about cost.

Telehealth has become an avenue to deal with growing wait times and to increase access for care, allowing providers to address concerns before or without an in-person visit. Telehealth remains steady in usage and acceptance. The percentage of respondents that had a telehealth visit remained steady from the 2022 JLL survey.

“In-person visits in physical facilities is – and will always be – an essential part of healthcare, but providers also need to make sure to accommodate telehealth in their space planning,” Johnson said. “Telehealth is a key tool in addressing patient access in remote areas or for those without adequate transportation for an in-person visit.”

June 23,  2023 Realty News Report Copyright 2023

Photo Credit: Ralph Bivins of Realty News Report Copyright 2023


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File:  The Doctor’s Office – Location Matters. JLL. The Doctor’s Office – Location Matters

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