Get Ready for Shift from Patient to Healthcare Consumer

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , August 27, 2012

"What is the big surprise? The big surprise is people aren't doing anything about it yet," he says. Providers and payers could take a lesson from the travel, leisure, and hotel/hospitality industries which D'Alessandro says went through a similar churn 10 years ago.

"There were some who realized that information transparency and all the things that came along with customer expectations were going to have a commoditizing effect on them. What did they do? They tried to cost-cut their way to that environment," he says. "There were others who made investments in the last 10 years on experience. They realized that every touch point with their product or service was one that defined them and allowed them to get a higher price point and enjoy greater retention."

None of this rise in healthcare consumerism should be a source of trepidation if providers understand the motivation and values behind it. For the most part those motivations are based on common sense which means they can be easily understood and implemented by staff.

"The reality is the providers who move quickly and focus on experiential drivers will not suffer what we expect to be a much greater of churn in the healthcare industry," D'Alessandro says. "Those who don't move quickly will end up facing a consumer who will vote with their feet."

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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