Consumer Driven Patients – Healthcare providers are reorganizing themselves in a more patient-centric continuum through care management approaches, where the patient turns into the role of a customer and consumer. According to economist John C. Goodman, “In the consumer-driven model, consumers occupy the primary decision-making role regarding the health care they receive.” Consumerism has been defined as a formidable force in health care, a defining characteristic between its past and future that will impact every stake-holder’s value proposition and business model. While signaling a change in the status quo for many, the trend toward consumerism also presents great opportunity for those stakeholders that recognize the value of connecting with end users who ultimately drive demand for the goods and services sold in the health care system. Healthcare will become a consumer market – individuals will engage in consumer behavior when making decisions about their health care.
most important sources:
Medical Tourism – Health care costs are increasing at eight percent per year – well above the Consumer Price Index (CPI), thus eating into corporate profits and household disposable income. The safety and quality of care available in many offshore settings is no longer an issue. Consumers are willing to travel to obtain care that is both safe and less costly. By contrast, inbound medical tourism and medical tourism across state lines will continue to be an interesting opportunity for specialty hubs with treatments unavailable elsewhere in the world or in a community setting. The annual growth rate of medical tourism in the US is 100%. Major barriers include the inability of providers in the medical traveling market to enter the networks of the developed markets, and a lack of transparent worldwide data on the quality of healthcare.
Deloitte’s medical tourism study, “Consumers in Search of Value
McKinsey: Mapping the market for medical travel
Transparency and Trust – Due to this new role and demand, it will be necessary for patients to select a suitable service provider among many possibilities. Consumers want information and tools to make their own decisions and manage their own healthcare. Actually in most countries an accurate selection is difficult, as consumers do not have a significant history with many of the healthcare service providers and thus interact, mostly offline, with others such as family, friends or their local general practitioner (GP) to make informed selections. Currently healthcare provider rating platforms are on the rise, and the demand on easy access on transparent information is rapidly growing.
Communication – Next to more transparency patients expect better communication, more information, and a higher degree of involvement and participation concerning their treatment, than they actually receive. Participation of the patient, to the degree he prefers, can lead to improved treatment outcomes. Until now, effective online provider-patient communication tools are not available and not used. The new era of patient engagement in healthcare, calls for providers to make deeper, more fluid, and open connections with their customers. Healthcare providers will be challenged to adapt to this new and rapidly changing environment. Healthcare providers will have to accept patients as their partners and collaborate more intensively with them. Otherwise, their healthcare services will be vulnerable to a widespread loss of confidence. The creation of optimal healthcare services will depend on the ability to embrace this opportunity , and collaborate with this first generation of online patients (e-patients), providing them with more autonomy, and empowerment and inviting them to jointly take decisions. Collaboration, transparency and frequent consistent two way communication are key in this new world.
most important sources:
Kao, Helen, Rebecca Conant, Theresa Soriano, Wayne McCormick. “The Past, Present, and Future of House Calls.” Clinics in geriatric medicine
Yawn, B., M.A. Goodwin, S.J. Zyzanski, K.C. Strange. “Time Use during Acute and Chronic Illness Visits to a Family Physician.”
Ley, P., “Memory for medical information.” British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 18.
Ferguson T, Frydman G. “The first generation of e-patients.” BMJ 328 (7449): 1148–9.
Herrick, Devon. “Web Replaces Doctors as Patients’ Top Health Information Source.” Health Care News 01 January 2009.
Fox, Susannah, and Sydney Jones. “The Social Life of Health Information.” Pew Internet & American Life Project June 2009
Fox, Susannah. “The Engaged E-Patient Population.” Pew Internet & American Life Project. August 2008.
Goetz, Thomas. “Practicing Patients.” New York Times 23 March 2008.
Keckly, Paul, and Laura L. Eselius. “2009 Deloitte Survey of Health Consumers.” Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. March 2009
SOA & Web Technology – Advancements in web technologies offer health care providers and medical practitioners ever expanding solutions to improve the quality and timeliness of care. Service oriented architectures and Web 2.0 technologies offer an effective approach to embrace this new cooperative and participatory model of medical care and in the long run integrate telemedical solutions with social networks to create a new and innovative approach for offering patient centric care. These combined solutions offer the patient and the people who form their primary and extended care networks, a means to communicate, interact and adapt as needs and situations change. Enabling new and creative applications will improve the ability for medical professionals to deliver quality care by combining clinical data with a patient’s own “network effect”.
sources: Dion Hinchcliffe : When the worlds of SOA and Web 2.0 collide
Social Networks and mobile platforms will have an impact on almost every aspect of the healthcare delivery system, from new models of healthcare delivery, tools for patient self care, platforms for business to business operations and mechanisms to accelerate clinical research. In the US several Health 2.0 startups embraced this opportunity; and have the potential to disrupt Healthcare delivery. Their business models are gaining traction.
follow me on twitter : @swisshealth20