Current Healthcare Scenario Demands a Shift to Improve Healthcare Consumerism

Healthcare consumerism allows patients to take active participation while taking critical decisions about their health. Though, most of the healthcare plans do not involve patients wholly when it comes to asking them the way they want to avail healthcare services. In its consequence, patients focus less on the expenditure due to impartial or negligible participation in the planning of care process. Adding to it, patients do not exhibit a willingness to go for more affordable healthcare services for their healthcare management. Healthcare professionals and healthcare decision makers should provide an active role to patients with important details regarding the plans, their costs as well as decision making about the preferred care process. This is the suitable way by which patients could gain an understanding of making improved healthcare buying decisions.

The Current Healthcare Scenario

Health care consumers are eager to manage their health on their own. But, do not take probable actions since most of them are not provided with required knowledge and resources. In the healthcare market, consumers can effortlessly make a comparison of pricing, characteristics, and advantages in a hassle-free way to make a better buying decision for the products/services they want to avail. But, the healthcare market is quite in control of service providers, allowing less or no decision making authority to consumers. In addition to the inadequate knowledge, consumers are also unaware or less aware of the actual costs and point of contacts in the healthcare market. Recently there is an upsurge in delivering a patient-focused care. The manifestation of this delivery system has entailed many reforms, such as the active use of patient portals where patients are provided with all the clinical information about their health. Integrated with the Practice Management tools, patients now can schedule appointments, share lab reports and can manage copay. However, these are just basic steps towards attaining a fully patient-focused care delivery system. A majority of the healthcare consumers are very concerned about the payment plans or how they will be charged for the services provided. They want to take right decisions when paying for healthcare services which are only possible when they are provided with a role in the care process. However, due to insufficient healthcare knowledge and high costs, they prefer to remain less treated or even untreated. Healthcare consumers want to have adequate information and improved transparency strategies. Furthermore, they want to build a stronger bond with the physician for a comprehensive and more satisfying treatment. However, the current healthcare market should be more open to the patients so they could make a better decision when opting for the healthcare services. It requires a paradigm shift from service focused approach to a patient-focused care delivery system.

Understanding Consumers’ Behavior

Consumers are usually drawn towards buying those products or services which express great concern and provide considerable benefits to them. Therefore, in order to grab the attention of the consumers, healthcare professionals should offer such products which can satisfy the requirements of the healthcare consumers. Healthcare marketers need to comb through the preferences, real needs, and desires of the consumers. In this way, they will be able to manufacture products containing useful and valuable features which could largely satiate healthcare consumers.

The Need of the Hour

Healthcare professionals should also conveniently connect with the consumer approach to pave the way towards effective delivery of services. The shift from volume to value-based healthcare is a highly encouraging step which adds to the healthcare consumerism. However, continuous efforts from the healthcare industry to improve healthcare consumerism are required and the good thing is that it is in the formation and only requires time to naturally evolve.