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Patients are becoming savvy about their choices as related to healthcare, which is causing a shift among providers and medical facilities throughout the U.S.  I see this on a daily basis as many of the private practice clients I work with are becoming more in tune with how to “satisfy” their patients rather than simply provide them with good clinical outcomes.  I view this as good for our healthcare system as the view of the patient as a “consumer” of services, and not simply a diagnosis or statistic should ultimately support a patient-centric basis for creating and operating private practice medical facilities.

This article from The Health Care Blog speaks to the concept of healthcare consumerism as relates to consumer attitudes toward web-based healthcare, citing research conducted in order to quantify the presence and nature of this trend in the United States.

One of Dr. Safavi’s opening slides came from Solucient’s HealthView Plus 2006 data, and was focused on “Quality-Driven Consumers,” people who are “likely to research ratings information on hospitals or doctors,” and likely to change providers if the one they originally preferred received a low rating. Strikingly contrary to the conventional wisdom, this group makes up only 19%, or one-fifth, of American adults.

Qualitydriven_consumers

The other categories are equally interesting. About one in eleven of us (9%) are “likely to research” but “unlikely to change.” This group goes through the motions of investigation but won’t switch when they find information counter to their original preference. 

One-third of us (34%) lackadaisically go with the flow. They are “unlikely to research” and “unlikely to change.”

And (this is my favorite) nearly two in five of us (38%) are “unlikely to research” but “likely to change,” traits one audience member suggested be renamed to “Ignorance On Fire.”)