What providers need to know about how consumers view trust: 5 findings

While trust in many healthcare institutions is at an all-time low, it remains critical to patients making decisions on hospitals and health plans, according to a 2015 National Healthcare Trust Index from PARTNERS+simons, a Myelin Communications-owned firm specializing in brand communications and integrated marketing services.

The PARTNERS+simons National Healthcare Trust Index, designed and conducted by MassINC Polling Group, gathers data on what drives consumers to trust providers and payers. The findings are based on survey results of more than 1,200 consumers across the nation.

"We have seen that trust is the most important factor to consumers choosing hospitals and health plan companies, but it was interesting to peel back the data and see how, based on different expectations, trust drivers differed," Rich Levy, CEO of PARTNERS+simons and Myelin Communications, said in a news release. "This data shows that there is no one size fits all solution for communicating trust. Understanding where a specific healthcare organization ranks on these trust components, ability, integrity and benevolence — and then crafting positioning and strategies that are responsive to any surplus or deficit is the only prescription."

Here are five findings from the index.

1. Seventy-four percent of index respondents indicated trust was the important factor for choosing a hospital, while only 54 percent said they would chose a hospital based on rankings and location.

2. Of the 73 percent of index respondents who said they trust their hospital, 84 percent said they would recommend the hospital to a friend or colleague. 

3. About half (49 percent) of index respondents say they trust their health insurance provider.

4. Seventy-four percent of index respondents said they were more likely to purchase health insurance from a company they trusted. 

5. Thirty-four percent of index respondents said integrity was a trust driver for hospitals, and only 20 percent said that integrity was a trust driver for health insurance companies.  

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