When business analysts take a look at the health care industry in America, they often find both striking similarities and radical differences between what consumers say about retail and what patients say about health care. Studies on health care services underscore the fact that a doctor’s office is, in many senses, a business, even though people don’t tend to think of health care as a “consumer industry.” New studies are finding that when it comes to choosing doctors, consumers are using some of the same criteria that they would at the check-out register of a department store or other retailer.
A Friendly Experience
Some of the newest results on surveys of patients as customers come from PwC Health Research Institute, a group that surveyed several thousand patients to get a better picture of what today’s patient is looking for in a medical provider. Part of what PwC found is that a friendly greeting is twice as important at the door of the doctor’s office as it is in a bank or a big-box store. That’s big news for practices that haven’t invested the time and effort to make sure there’s someone personable sitting at the front desk. It’s also a good look at how medical offices can tune in to what patients really expect in today’s health care industry.
Price Not a Factor?
Studies also routinely find that price is not the big factor in patient provider selection that it is in retail. Read the rest of this entry →