Consumerism in Healthcare

The concept of consumerism in healthcare has evolved over the years, and whether we are in support of it or not, we must trust that the industry landscape has a new driver: the patient. The patient is taking charge of their healthcare more than ever. As consumers, they are proactively researching the different service options available centered around their circumstantial needs and preferences. Based on Deloitte’s Survey of US Health Care Consumers, the considerations holding the most weight for consumers regarding providers includes being in-network, reputation, and personality/bedside manners.

Patients were able to pivot from being a passive consumer to taking on a more proactive, meaningful role with the help of technology advancement. Technology allows for accessibility to information and serves as a platform for one to share experiences, giving them a voice. Most consumer-facing healthcare applications and search engines specifically include a rating system to capture qualitative feedback on the patient journey experience. Although these systems put the patient’s voice first, some believe it may have a negative blowback. The retail-consumer process that patients have come to adopt when researching the available service options may overtake a key factor that really matters: the clinical and medical expertise of these providers.

So how does consumerism apply to your lab? You don’t have direct contact with the patient, so it’s irrelevant, right? Maybe not. All diagnostic providers, including hospital outpatient labs, hospital outreach programs, remote patient monitoring organizations, and independent labs, should be on high alert. This shift within the healthcare landscape will likely be a significant disruptor. As with all disruptors, organizations must consider their effects and strategize on how to anticipate and embrace the new reality.  

Any annoyance experienced by the patient may create an unavoidable ripple of consequences that will affect physicians and, ultimately, your bottom line.

How can labs effectively embrace the patient-centric paradigm and maximize their accounts receivables?