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Get Ready for Shift from Patient to Healthcare Consumer

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, August 27, 2012

"We have seen across many different industries a cohort of customers that often vote with their feet given the right experience, let's say it is on the order of 25%-33%. If you don't give them the right thing they will move to the next solution provider. Traditionally we have found the healthcare industry to be much stickier—less than 20%—because ‘I have a doctor who knows me and my history, yada yada yada,'" D'Alessandro tells HealthLeaders Media.

 "What we are seeing is an increase of up to 36%-38% of respondents who are willing to switch providers given the right opportunity. The only industry that differs like that is the hotel industry where people switch on the order of 60% given the right hotel opportunities."

Economic forces, the Internet and social media are causing that traditional bond between providers and patients to come unglued. Rather than gnashing teeth about the rise of the healthcare consumer, D'Alessandro says smart providers are preparing for new opportunities.

"There are providers that have taken steps to be more empathetic, to understand my needs, understand that it goes way beyond the interaction with the clinician and understand it goes all the way back to the check in," he says.

Focusing on consumer values can be a time- and money-saving opportunity for providers.

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