Consumers v. Patients

Photo by michaeljung/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by michaeljung/iStock / Getty Images

The Center for Medicare Medicaid Services expects healthcare spend will rise 5.8% annually through 2025.  The increase in spending on healthcare is giving rise to consumerism in healthcare.  People (and insurers) naturally want more involvement in choices about when, where and what services are performed.

If you are a leader of a healthcare organization, you know it's easy to overwhelm the organization with change, so where do you begin?  

Segmenting your data can be a powerful place to begin.  Not all patients are consumers.  Patients are not consumers if involving them  in the choices about when, where and whether the service is performed could bring reasonable harm to the patient (e.g., trauma surgery, critical care surgery, etc.).

If patients are considered consumers, curate a "patient journey" from awareness to care to post-care.  If patients are not considered consumers, focus efforts primarily on improving the post-care experience.