News release

Proximity and convenience driving patient healthcare decisions

JLL’s new patient consumer survey reveals that, while cost is a large consideration, convenience and comfort factors must not be ignored 

June 20, 2023

Kimberly Steele

Industries, Work Dynamics and PDS PR
+1 713 852 3420

CHICAGO, June 20, 2023 – While cost is important to patients when choosing a healthcare provider, location and convenience also rank highly in the decision-making process, according to JLL’s new Healthcare Patient Consumer Survey. Location and convenience affect the care experience, which, along with the quality of service provided and the comfort of the facility, drive positive experiences that lead patients to return to a particular provider.

More than 80% of responders evaluating primary and preventative or specialist care noted whether a provider or hospital accepts their insurance as one of the top five factors considered when deciding to seek care. Location and proximity ranked as the second-most-likely factor for all types of care, aside from outpatient behavioral health, for which it ranked third.

“It’s not surprising that cost is the No. 1 factor for patients, but convenience is also key when making healthcare-related decisions,” said Jay Johnson, U.S. Practice Leader, Healthcare Markets, JLL. “Patients want to get care quickly and get on with their day. Through providing a broad coverage network and optimizing site selection, providers can deliver convenient care for patients, which was shown to improve a patient’s overall experience and the likelihood that they will return to a provider.”

Balancing convenience and cost

When care is needed urgently, decision factors are simplified, and location and proximity ranked even higher than most other types of care. For urgent care and emergency care, insurance, location and proximity, wait time and past experience were most important. Reputation, physical accessibility and hospital network are not all important for these care types.

This shift in sites of care leads to patient volumes increasing for outpatient services and decreasing for inpatient, prioritizing convenience.

“What this means for healthcare providers and health systems is that a strong location strategy can both improve reach and improve positive outcomes,” said Alison Flynn Gaffney, FACHE, President, Healthcare Division, JLL. “It’s critical to strike the right balance between convenience and cost – health systems need to balance the benefits of being close to their target populations with the cost of a new facility or a provider’s time in transit from a local clinic to the hospital.”

Making locations convenient by placing them close to other errands, in retail locations or in small offices in neighborhoods can improve patient experience. More than 58% of those who evaluated a healthcare experience went to an additional location as part of the trip, which could benefit retail stores and play into a retail center’s larger strategy when selecting tenants.

Convenience to counter generational attitudes toward healthcare

JLL found that the younger the person, the less likely they are to use primary care, as younger generations apply a “wait-until-it-breaks model” versus proactively seeking regular care. Nearly 80% of adults 65 and older have two or more chronic conditions, increasing their need for continuous care and more than 70% of Baby Boomers received primary and preventative care within the last year, as opposed to only 26% of Gen Z. Millennials and Gen Z were also more likely to report receiving urgent care, emergency care and outpatient behavioral health than other generations.

A consistent relationship with a primary care provider has been shown to improve health outcomes, lower healthcare costs and reduce emergency room visits, but low provider supply compared with population growth contributed to reduced access to primary care, especially for an appointment for an urgent need.

“Younger populations seek medical care on a more reactive basis, waiting for an urgent or emergency need rather than regularly scheduled primary care services,” said Kari Beets, Senior Manager, Research, JLL. “Older generations are more likely to have relationships with providers due to more frequent care needs, and smaller retail locations with primary care providers can allow convenient access to primary care.”

Hospitals, physicians and other care providers can locate relevant facilities using a demographics-based site selection strategy or drive younger populations to preventative care through expanding value-based care models. Providers can also locate urgent and standalone emergency care near younger populations to improve access and wait times, make it easier to find or schedule same-day appointments with a primary care provider and increase transparency of costs for sick visits for urgent and primary care – as younger generations with less savings may postpone care due to concerns about cost.

Telehealth availability to address convenience factor

Telehealth is one avenue to address wait times and increase access for care, allowing providers to address concerns before or without an in-person visit. Telehealth remains steady in usage and acceptance. The percentage of respondents that had a telehealth visit remained steady from our 2022 survey.

“In-person visits in physical facilities is – and will always be – an essential part of healthcare, but providers also need to make sure to accommodate telehealth in their space planning,” Johnson said. “Telehealth is a key tool in addressing patient access in remote areas or for those without adequate transportation for an in-person visit.”

Reputation and comfort over newer facilities

Patients seek out experts to recommend care. After insurance and location, physician quality and reputation ranked highly as factors for a healthcare decision; in fact, it was ranked in the top five by over 40% of participants in all categories. Referrals play a larger role in specialist, outpatient surgery and inpatient care, with 45.5%, 52.6% and 50.5% of respondents placing it in the top five, respectively. Recommendations from friends ranked most highly for behavioral health, given the personal nature of such care, and was ranked in the top five by 31% of respondents.

JLL found that quality of service affects patient experience most, followed by comfort of facilities. Additionally, respondents noted the age of facilities does not have a significant impact on patient experience, meaning through quality maintenance and attention to details that affect patient comfort like waiting rooms, cleanliness and safety, a healthcare provider can overcome an old facility.

“Designing facilities for patient comfort and implementing a strong facilities management program can create more positive experiences and increase loyalty,” Gaffney added.

The JLL Healthcare Patient Survey was conducted via Engine Insights with a nationally representative group of 4,017 U.S. residents from April 19, 2023, to April 28, 2023. Of the respondents, 51 percent were female, and 48 percent were male.

JLL Healthcare provides a full range of real estate and facilities solutions for hospitals, physicians and other care providers as well as real estate investors that own and operate medical and seniors housing properties. We help our healthcare clients plan, find, finance, buy, lease, sell, construct, optimize, manage and maintain the most-advantageous facilities anywhere in the US for all property types along the continuum of care, serving over 550 million square feet of healthcare property annually. Our professionals have deep technical expertise and market knowledge and are armed with the most innovative, data-driven analytics and business intelligence in the industry. Visit us at to learn more.

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About JLL

For over 200 years, JLL (NYSE: JLL), a leading global commercial real estate and investment management company, has helped clients buy, build, occupy, manage and invest in a variety of commercial, industrial, hotel, residential and retail properties. A Fortune 500® company with annual revenue of $20.8 billion and operations in over 80 countries around the world, our more than 106,000 employees bring the power of a global platform combined with local expertise. Driven by our purpose to shape the future of real estate for a better world, we help our clients, people and communities SEE A BRIGHTER WAYSM. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit