Glancing at the clock on the wall, I ponder why they make me show up early for my appointment. I could be at work doing my job. Instead, I am forced to wait. My appointment is now a half hour late. If this was college, I would have already left the class.
I would have left the professor a kind note (anonymously…of course) that he was late–we, students, needed to get to another class. Unfortunately, I am forced to grit my teeth and bear the circumstance since I’m caught in a healthcare monopoly. I wonder if my doctor really understands how to be customer-focused like the rest of the world. Why doesn’t he grasp the realities of the future?
Many people feel that Armageddon has descended on America with the passing of the US healthcare reform bill. Health problems continue to climax. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. health care expenditures surpassed $2.3 trillion in 2008 which was over eight times the cost ($253 billion) in 2003. In fact, health care cost grew faster than inflation and the growth in nation income.
Government bureaucrats, insurance lobbyists, patient advocates, media pundits, and health experts fight battles of how to get the health care issues solved for the future. In fact, President Obama has gambled his presidential legacy on healthcare reform.
The winds of disruptive change have wrecked havoc to the current medical industry as traditionalist fight to keep the status quo. Joan Liebler and Charles McConnell, authors of Management Principles for Health Professionals argue that the current trends are demanding changes in patient care and administrative support.
The market and cultural drivers are all around us. Government officials impose stricter laws. Insurance companies force hospitals and medical organizations to control and reduce costs. Sadly, physicians and medical experts face ethical dilemmas of who to serve first, corporate mandates or their patients.
Yet, smarter patients are demanding more from health professionals in ways that place the customer first. Unfortunately, many organizations struggle with how to address the health professional’s moral mandate to the patient during these periods of constant and forced change.
What is the difference between a health professional implementing a patient-oriented strategy versus a customer-oriented strategy? Is it possible to have both? If so, how.
© 2010 by Daryl D. Green