Patient Consumerization – A Shift In Focus For The Good
Today we can receive goods the same day we order them and track them minute by minute from order placement to delivery. It’s not surprising that patients expect the same level of efficiency and transparency from their health care providers as well. Infact, some patients may have to wait for weeks or months for an appointment. Efforts need to be made towards overcoming the current barriers so that the patients are satisfied with what the doctors have to offer. Introduction of medical tech will make the situation more convenient, easy and less stressful.
Individual attention is very important, especially in the case of patients. This is what Patient Consumerization focuses on. It helps in the advancement of the healthcare system, especially during these tough times. It also helps in the introduction of medical tech which will make the system way more convenient and easier. Patient Consumerization is basically the shift in focus on individuals rather than focusing on the market. With the Virus around this is the right time for Patient Consumerization to take place. Apart from this, the rise in the healthcare costs and also the rising population are the other main reasons for the shift to take place. Rising population means more healthcare needs.
Barriers Of Patient Consumerization
Millions of people around the world do not receive medical help because of the lack of transportation like ambulances. The main idea of Patient Consumerization is focusing on individuals and helping them out and without transportation I don’t think this is possible. People in the rural areas are not able to receive proper medical care because of the poor medical services. Apart from poor medical services Geographical barrier is also a big disadvantage. People need to travel long distances to achieve proper medical services. In the world population a lot of people are considered senior and most of them have a disability. The seniors need to book an appointment with a doctor for any necessity. It becomes so difficult, time consuming and stressful that the patients neglect or abandon their timely checkups and appointments. Many health insurances are very expensive, and the poor families are not able to afford it. Apart from being expensive the consumers also face limited options. Therefore, the poor people have less access to healthcare facilities. Apart from this, the long waiting hours for getting a medical checkup is also a big barrier to patient consumerization. The reason for long waiting periods is shortage of staff in the medical sector.
Ways to Overcome These Barriers
The transportation services are delayed due to the heavy traffic. This can be avoided by creating separate lanes for ambulances only. The ambulances should be allowed to pass through the signals very easily. The condition of the vehicle also affects the transportation system. Therefore, the vehicle should be sent for servicing from time to time. In case there is a shortage of staff, hiring of licensed drivers will also help. People living in the rural areas are forced to travel long distances for proper medical services. This problem can be solved by educating the people living in the rural areas which can be achieved by providing them with financial support, donation of books, providing them with free education and by reducing teacher absenteeism. The elderly should be provided with managed walk-in checkups instead of them having to book an appointment with the doctor which often becomes stressful and time consuming. Walk-in checkups are very convenient for the Patient. In this way the elderly can get their checkups done easily and from time to time. High cost of life insurance is also a major barrier of Patient Consumerization. This can be avoided by buying the insurance at a young age because younger the age, lower the premiums. The high cost can also be avoided when an individual leads a healthy life, which can be achieved by avoiding smoking/drinking. The long waiting periods can be overcome by avoiding delays at the check-in. Introduction of PMS (Patient Management System) will also help, where the Patient gets notified when he/she has to meet the doctor. This can avoid long queues and waiting periods.
Steps to Be Taken Towards Patient Consumerization
Patients should be able to access their medical reports and other things electronically and for free of cost. This can be a main step towards improving the convenience of both patients and doctors. This will also be a safe step to take looking at the current situation. With Covid-19 around people might hesitate to step out of their houses. Getting access to the reports electronically will be of great help. Providing the people who can’t afford much with free medical care services can also be a great step toward Patient Consumerization. Many people neglect their important checkups and appointments because of the cost. This can be avoided when free medical services are provided. This step will help a lot of people both in urban and rural since a lot of them have lost their jobs because of Covid-19. Free medical care will be of great help to such people. Building of hospitals and clinics in different areas will also help. Educated professionals like physicians, surgeons and nurses need to be hired in these hospitals.