In our latest consumer research report, Realities in Consumer Healthcare Choice in America, we explored some of the emotional and complex factors affecting the relationship people have with their healthcare provider. We dug into the deep feelings that can occur when people seek care and some of the issues that can lead to damaged relationships, poor patient satisfaction scores and patients switching providers.

In this four part series we’ll share verbatim answers with you from patient interviews we conducted. You’ll find out:

  • What patients wish you knew about them.
  • What the most important things are in determining whether they are satisfied with their care.
  • What factors would make them consider leaving you and what those who have actually switched told us.
  • And, how awesome you are, when patients share some of the most profoundly positive healthcare experiences they have had.

We posed this open-ended question to 1,233 people in mid-markets across America.

If my health care provider really knew me, they would know that _________?

Of those surveyed, over 50 percent took the time to tell us exactly what they would want their provider to know. The majority of the answers reminded us that the patient experience is about:

  • engagement
  • relationship building
  • trust
  • feeling respected
  • patient education

Our research also revealed that 14 percent of people are actively seeking a new provider. These five touchpoints lay the foundation for the creation of messages that speak directly to this unsettled audience.

Here’s a sample of what we heard:


  • I am very concerned about my health.
  • I desire the best possible care for my family and myself.
  • I like being part of the team that solves the problem.
  • I struggle following tips for a healthier lifestyle.

Relationship Building

  • See me in totality.
  • I like to be called back.
  • I need a lot of guidance and motivation.
  • I want quality healthcare from a doctor who can communicate effectively with me.


  • I don’t trust them or my health insurance carrier.
  • I want to make sure I understand everything they are saying.
  • I am intelligent, informed and expect my health providers to be on my side—not the insurer or government’s side—when it comes to what’s best for me.
  • I don’t share nearly as much as I would like to about my health because I feel like I would be complaining.


  • I am smart.
  • I care about myself and I will ask questions and I want answers.
  • I am not the passive, health-ignorant person they believe most patients to be.
  • I’ll talk if they’ll listen.


  • I follow their advice.
  • I want to stay healthy.
  • Education means a lot to me.

Understanding what patients want from you and speaking directly to them about the issues surrounding engagement, relationship building, trust, respect and education allows you to create a powerful emotional connection with them. That connection could mean the difference between them choosing you or your competition.