I was a bit surprised when I read a recent study by the "The New Payer, National Research Corporation" (2015) that indicated when consumers think of what entities play a role in their health and well-being, grocery stores topped hospitals…fascinating; number 1-my doctor, number 2-my health plan, number 3-my pharmacy. 3,000 consumers were polled. Gyms also made the list in addition to churches/religion. Kinda non-traditional responses, huh?
Consumers can really demand what they please and when it comes to healthcare, there is no lack of passion and opinion about their expectations. Historically, folks had to see their doctor and/or go to a hospital/clinic to receive care…that certainly has changed. Social media, your local pharmacy, self-test kits, all the fancy wearables that keep track of all the “vitals”, telemedicine, transparency about what costs are, more out of pocket, and on and on.
Our success will continue as long as we stay focused on the patient (consumer), involve them in their care and find out what they really want, and look at the whole patient, not just the episode, procedure, or condition they came in with last. Not easy, but certainly necessary.
Wanda Holderman, F.A.C.H.E.
Chief Clinical Integration Officer