IONIA Healthcare Consulting
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Thoughts and writings from the world of Ionia

The modern patient-consumer desires engagement and connectivity...

What does the patient consumer want?

When engaging the patient-consumer, do not underestimate the benefits of preemption or the costs of inaction

Engaged, informed, and involved patient experiences lead to satisfied patients which, in turn, creates a memorable patient experience. Ultimately, regular and consistent positive experiences creates a clear influence upon reimbursement and loyalty: failing to live up to expectations has a disastrous impact on the bottom line. Patient satisfaction ratings below expectations result in a CMS' HCAHPS ratings, putting as much as 2% of revenue at risk by this year (2017). Reputations at risk when patients have negative experiences; the news spreads like wildfire. In today's ultra-connected digital communities, bad experiences, negative service experiences, and critical online reviews wreak havoc on patient-consumers' decisions regarding care access.

Retaining and attracting patient-consumers is a focus of hospitals and administrators while simultaneously engaging them to easily manage their health and well-being with tools reaching beyond the hallways of departments and clinics.  This is a critical driver of success for the health systems of tomorrow. 

How can we address consumer desire?

Consumer expectations have evolved and healthcare organizations must accommodate

Value, not volume, is currently the central organizing principle of US healthcare and continues to generate change and challenges. This shifting focus impacts patient-consumers' care, how physicians and hospitals are reimbursed, and is an inflection point of care approaches nationwide. Emphasizing quality and value has highlighted financial obstacles:

  • Increased patient choices with a primary focus on comparative outcomes,
  • Digital technologies optimizing provider-patient contact and information access, and
  • Enabling access to scheduling, personal health data, and long term care instructionals

While the patient-consumer profile emerges in the modern age, so have modern care delivery protocols with increasing emphasis on patient engagement, quality, value, and self-care.  Satisfying the patient-consumer is tantamount to healthcare delivery success and requires a unique knowledge of preferences, biases, influences, and habits to optimize health outcomes. Without a doubt, the patient-consumer stands as is the lodestar by which loyalty and reputation follow.  Arguably, healthcare is beginning to mature in its approach to engagement. 


Matthew Cybulsky