Benchmark – Consumerism in Health Care
Benchmark- Consumerism in Health Care
Recentlyconsumerism in the healthcare industry has been a major issue amongsome the United States people. Compared to the past, now it isincreasing at the alarming rate which is fueled by dynamics in theeconomic environment as to the best standards in offering thehealthcare services, especially which are in accordance withcustomers` expectations. Patients’ loyalty is all that matters,hence the need to benchmark the operational activities with thatoffered by the non-healthcare companies so as to find out possibleareas of improvement in the current healthcare systems while at thesame time sensitizing patients on various services being offered bythe various healthcare center. This paper reviews comparative orbenchmarking study of consumerism currently being experienced in thehealthcare industry with non-healthcare companies using differentresearch methodology approaches.
Keywords:Sustainablehealth care and consumerism
Overthe last five years, Consumerism has been making inroads to thehealthcare system, with some patients starting acting like consumerswho have right to make choices on the quality and cost of thehealthcare services they need just like other products. Recently, thetrend has been increasing at the alarming rate which has been asresults of affordable care, easy access to information, transparencyand patient protection (Abookireet al. 2016).Such trend in the healthcare is forcing the consumers to look formore cost-effective medical care so as to make maximum utilization ofevery dollar being deducted. Unlike initially when the access ofinformation was limited now the data about various hospitals andhealth specialists is widely available hence giving patients moreautonomy to make final decisions quickly as to where they can obtainquality health care services (Jenny,Rohit &Christa, 2015).For example, now patients can quickly get information on the highlyexperienced doctors, hospital policies on the admission of newpatients suffering from particular diseases and readmission rates. Innext five years, it is major improvement anticipated in the healthcare sector in the effort to meet the patient’s needs efficiently.
Thedata was collected majorly from secondary sources especially frompeer-reviewed academic journals and other resourceful onlinejournals. According toJenny, Rohit, and Christa (2015), recentlyconsumerism in the United States (US) healthcare has moved at thevery high rate which has been greatly influenced by the dynamics inthe market. High medical costs, copayments, higher deductibles andimprovement of the transparency in the healthcare service deliveryhence agitating the zeal on the part of the patients to be involvedin the decision-making process than before. According to Jenny,Rohit, and Christa (2015),the survey conducted over the last eight years involving more than11,000 people were asked to give the opinion regarding the healthcare systems. Some of the questions included in the survey includedthe definition of the criteria used in selecting the healthcareservices, their health care needs and how they manage to make varioushealthcare decisions. Various health care stakeholders such aspatients, consultancy firms, and nurses were also key participants inthe data collection.
Theresults of the survey showed that consumers need quality servicesfrom the healthcare companies like the one they get fromnon-healthcare settings. In the study conducted in 2016, a number ofrespondents were asked to highlight some of the non-healthcare firmswith high concern and focus on the customers` needs (Jenny,Rohit &Christa, 2015).The results indicated that Amazon and Apple led the list.Furthermore, the consumers were requested to give the reason behindthe trend as it disclosed that a significant number of therespondents hinted that, effective consumers’ services are of greatimportance in not only non-healthcare companies but also inhealthcare companies (Jenny,Rohit &Christa, 2015).Additionally, in both cases, the customers should be placed at thecenter of decision-making process hence being able to identifypossible areas for improvement in the service delivery thus beingable to add value in service delivering while at the same time meetthe patients’ expectations (Lee,2014).
Thefollowing was respondent results obtained after the survey
Healthcarecompanies should strive to keep in phase with the non-healthcarecompanies such as Amazon and Appel in the level of customer servicesand care. They need to do more than just aiming to be at par withsuch organizations (Jenny,Rohit &Christa, 2015). Mostly, non-healthcare organizations set the standards of the bestpractices which are followed by the other firms in offering servicesto their clients for benchmarking process. On meeting such thresholdexpectations, such companies gain the capability to win thecustomers` loyalty and satisfaction in the market. Additionally,theresults of the study show that some patients conduct backgroundresearch on various healthcare parameters before seeking for medicalservices as below.
Inthe survey carried out on 2016 more than 22% respondents cited thatthey normally inquire about the cost of the healthcare servicesbefore seeking any medical services. Further, the data showed that in2015 women who obtained maternity services hinted they had researchedabout the cost structure of such services before seeking for suchmedical services. Some said that they had received advice from healthattendants or insurance company representative. Another group of therespondents stated that before undergoing most invasive and expensiveprocedure such as joint or cardiac surgery. Doctors and other healthconsultancy practitioners are key agents in influencing thedecision-making process (Jenny,Rohit &Christa, 2015). Soon after 2015, a significant number of the consumers were eligibleand capable of purchasing the exchange plan which is in accordancewith the healthcare survey conducted by the open enrolment plan (OEP)(Lee,2014).More than 40% of those who had bought such plan agreed they did nothave the precise understanding of what it entails and the kind of thenetwork involved in the plan. Additionally, 41% of the respondentswere unaware of the subsidy offered, and over 59% knew the penaltyinvolved for not obtaining the health cover (Lee,2014).In the Medicare survey conducted in 2015, it was found that only 21%of the members of Medicare Advantage (MA) were aware of their starrating.
Insummary, consumerism in the healthcare industry is gainingrecognition among the patients which can be attributed to easy accessto information, transparency in the cost structure, high copaymentsand deductibles among other economic dynamics. Various healthcareproviders have the mandate to carry out the comparative analysis withnon-healthcare companies to determine possible areas of improvementthrough benchmarking their services and best consumer practices.
Abookire,S. A., Bates, D. W., Slight, S., Chassin, M. R., DuPree, E. S.,Pedroja, A. T., & Hansen-Turton, T. (2016). America`sHealthcare Transformation: Strategies and Innovations.Rutgers University Press.
Jenny,C., Rohit, K., & Christa. M., (2015).Debunking common myths about health care consumerism. McKinsey& Company HomeHealthcareSystems & Services.Retrieved fromhttp://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/debunking-common-myths-about-healthcare-consumerism
Lee,T. H. (2014). Why patient loyalty matters–and how to enhance it:fulfilling patients` needs and expectations for high-quality,coordinated care is vital to organizations` long-term prosperity inan era when patient retention matters more than ever. HealthcareFinancial Management,68(12),68-73.
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