The rise of consumerism, in which patients can choose where and when to seek care, has been developing rapidly and is becoming the new norm. Consumerism promotes efficient, high-quality, and convenient care for patients at a price that is commensurate to the services rendered.
How Consumerism Is Reflected in Health Care
Consumerism has at its root the goal of addressing problems in U.S. healthcare delivery that have impeded patients’ timely access to care, particularly for minor ailments, where a patient might be left with an untenable choice between waiting for several days to see a primary care physician and enduring hours in the emergency department (ED) at a high out-of-pocket cost.
To successfully embrace the new consumerism paradigm, a healthcare organization must undergo a cultural transformation to a team-based, patient-centered approach to care, facilitated by significant changes in how patients interact with their care providers. This transformation should encompass the following.
This article originally appeared as the June 2018 cover story for hfm Magazine.