Atlantans across the board are dropping out of healthcare amidst busy lives and a complex and antiquated healthcare system, according to a new survey released today from Zocdoc and Kelton Global. Eighty-two percent of Atlantans admit that they’ve put off seeing a doctor or booking a doctor’s appointment. And it’s even worse if you’ve lived in Atlanta your whole life: 87% of native residents have put off appointments.
The reason? The current system of finding doctors and accessing care is a major barrier for a modern, busy consumer. In fact, when they do look for a new doctor, 54% of Atlantans say it’s more frustrating than sitting in notorious Atlanta traffic, and one-third (33%) think it’s worse than waiting in airport security at ATL. That’s consistent with WalletHub’s findings last year: Atlanta ranked 49th out of 50 states when it comes to healthcare access.
Healthcare dropouts in Atlanta report frustrations with the system as their top reasons for postponing care. They can’t find the right doctor – 13% say it’s hard to find a doctor that fits their needs – and they can’t find one when they need it most. 24% of Atlantans say they put off care because the doctor’s availability doesn’t work for their schedule and 22% say appointments need to be booked too far in advance. And it’s no wonder: according to research by Merritt Hawkins, the average wait time for a family medicine/primary care appointment in Atlanta is nearly four weeks (27 days).
Residents also struggle with the process of booking appointments: more than 10% say they’ve delayed because the booking process is too frustrating, and 16% say they can’t find the time during the day to schedule the appointment.
Find the Right Doctor:
Atlantans know what they want in a perfect doctor, defining key characteristics as someone who:
- Takes their insurance (75%)
- Is conveniently located (71%),
- Has a compassionate bedside manner (64%), and
- Allows online appointments so they don’t have to wait on hold (36%).
Get Care Right Now:
For busy Atlantans, convenience is king: residents would be more likely to schedule visits with a doctor when they are supposed to if they:
- Could pick their preferred appointment time (42%)
- Could book an appointment at any time, and not just during work hours/when the doctor’s office is open (34%), and
- Could interact with their doctor online, such as making appointments or filling out paperwork (29%).
With a new investment in the Atlanta market, Zocdoc is expanding easy access to care and delivering a modern, digital health experience to people who don’t want to waste time finding the right doctor exactly when they need care. Since January, Zocdoc has increased the number of bookable providers in Atlanta by more than 70%, and now patients can find, on average, more than 3,000 hours of same-day availability per week across all providers (based on the last 3 months of data).
“Our survey revealed that 37% of Atlantans wish they didn’t have to make appointments too far in advance,” said Oliver Kharraz, M.D., Zocdoc CEO and co-founder. “They’re in luck because the typical Zocdoc patient sees a doctor within 24 hours of booking, 27 times faster than the Atlanta average wait time. Zocdoc’s free service makes the appointment-booking process simpler and faster; Atlantans can instantly book appointments online, when they want them, with the doctor that’s right for them.”
Our survey showed Atlantans spend an average of 77 minutes researching the right doctor; with Zocdoc that process is reduced to minutes. The top characteristics of a perfect doctor are all things you can see at a glance in any Zocdoc profile: one easy online search can help patients find in-network neighborhood doctors, see what other real patients have to say, make sure their provider is in-network, fill out their paperwork online, and more.
About the Atlanta Healthcare Dropouts Survey
The Zocdoc Atlanta Healthcare Dropouts Survey was conducted April 2nd – April 6th, 2018 by Kelton Global among 1,014 Atlanta adult (18+) residents through an online survey.