7 Stats About Healthcare, from Actual Patients
Insights into the barriers & challenges women patients face
It’s no secret that navigating our healthcare system can be frustrating (to say the least). At Alpha, we wanted to better understand patient barriers and challenges in seeking medical care. To gain insights into their experiences, we surveyed our patients in January 2022. Here are the key takeaways, based on over 600 responses:
47% of respondents don’t have an in-person PCP
Broader studies have shown that 28% of young people in the U.S. don’t have a primary care provider. The number increases in rural areas and in marginalized communities. With a growing shortage of primary care providers, these numbers are likely to increase everywhere. There is a clear need for accessible, affordable primary care.
76% have delayed seeking medical care in the last year
Those who delayed seeking medical care in the last year did so because:
- 30% said the cost was too high
- 31% didn’t have time
- 30% felt anxious
Even with an ongoing pandemic, the top reasons for delaying care were cost, time, and anxiety. Anxiety showed up in several responses, indicating that it’s one of the more commonly felt emotions when it comes to healthcare.
89% of respondents said they would be more likely to seek medical care if it were virtual.
This result reflects a growing acceptance and demand for telemedicine and telehealth. Virtual healthcare has many advantages for patients, including privacy and flexible scheduling. For patients in rural areas who don’t have a provider nearby, virtual healthcare may be one of their only options for routine care.
95% of respondents felt better about their medical care knowing that their provider is trained in women’s health.
This result shows a possible solution for creating a trusting relationship between a patient and their provider, and reinforces that patients intuitively value primary, whole-person care. Taken with the fact that only 9% of medical schools offer courses in women’s health, there is a glaring need for providers to understand how a woman’s hormonal transitions (like puberty, pregnancy, and menopause) can influence her susceptibility to various medical conditions, both physical and mental. It can also help save lives: a recent study showed that women patients operated on by male surgeons had a 32% increase in their risk of death, adding to the evidence that there are deep discrepancies in the way women receive and experience medical treatment. At Alpha, we train all our providers in women’s health to address these disparities in care.
Healthcare is ultimately personal, and patients deserve relational, whole-person care, with a provider they can trust, which leads to improved health outcomes. Our patient survey results reinforce a lot of what we stand for at Alpha: accessible, affordable, and personalized primary care. It also illuminates the barriers many patients face–not only physically, but also emotionally.
Were any results surprising to read? Let us know in the comments if these patient experiences resonate with you. A better future of healthcare starts with sharing our stories to raise awareness around the need for change.