Survey confirms enhancing patient access remains top priority

Dec. 1, 2022

Improving patient access to medical services remains a top priority for U.S. health systems as they grapple with economic uncertainty and the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has altered patient behavior. 

According to a new report from the Center for Connected Medicine (CCM), health system leaders ranked patient access as the top challenge that could be improved with technology in the coming year. It was the second year in a row that the CCM’s “Top of Mind for Top Health Systems” research identified improving patient access as a priority. 

To address the challenge, health systems are investing in telehealth technology, patient portals and other digital tools, updating their organizational structures and focusing on fixing processes within their organizations. 

The “Top of Mind for Top Health Systems 2023” report has been published on CCM’s website.

The report identified telehealth, patient portals and patient appointment reminders as the technologies most often implemented by health care organizations to improve patient access. Other digital tools, such as self-scheduling, cost estimators and navigation solutions, have not seen implementation at the same high levels. 

“It’s no secret that health systems have been facing significant challenges since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and must address consumer demands for greater convenience and accessibility from their health care providers. This report reflects the priority that we and others are placing on patient access, including more options for virtual care, greater self-scheduling functionality and higher engagement with patient portals,” said Joon Lee, M.D., executive vice president of UPMC and president of UPMC Physician Services.

The CCM, which collaborates with a wide range of experts to produce resources and events on the future of health care, is operated by Nokia and UPMC. 

The “Top of Mind” research, produced in partnership with KLAS Research, surveyed 61 leaders from 59 hospitals and health systems across the United States on their organizations’ efforts to improve patient access, price transparency, telehealth and artificial intelligence.

“The Top of Mind report is a resource that health system leaders can use to understand how their peers are approaching both the opportunities and the challenges that exist in today’s ever-changing environment,” said Adam Gale, chief executive officer of KLAS Research.

CCM release