How to Adapt to a Changing Healthcare Consumer

Navigating the Shift to Customer-Centric Models

How to Adapt to a Changing Healthcare Consumer

Estimated Read Time: 2 - 3 Minutes

Technology has infiltrated every major industry, including healthcare. Traditionally slower to respond to consumer demands, the healthcare industry is now undergoing a significant transformation to better align with the needs of its consumers.

Dan Stanek, WD’s Executive Vice President and Health + Wellness subject matter expert, has been talking this talk for the last four years. In a recent session at HealthSpaces, Stanek dove into the industry’s shifts and outlined strategies for providers to remain at the forefront of this evolving landscape.

“The pandemic has strengthened healthcare and forced us to get out of our zone, to change,” Stanek said. “It’s forced us out of the box, and that’s affecting us in many ways.” From the rise of virtual care, online appointment scheduling, and doctor-patient messaging platforms to recognizing the increasing influence of patients as consumers, the ongoing changes in healthcare hold profound implications for both providers and their customer base.

Prioritizing Customer-Centric Approaches

Central to this transformation is the reorientation of the healthcare industry towards customer-centric practices. “Customer experience is something we have to look at as a journey,” Stanek said. “The journey we have across the spectrum of healthcare, online and offline, we have to look at these best-in-class experiences. We need to get out of the healthcare industry and look at what is happening in the hospitality or retail sectors.”

“Companies like Amazon, Uber, and DoorDash each started as small concepts,” Stanek said. Today, they are enormous in their respective industries. “They showed us the power of consumers being in charge. Healthcare is being forced to adapt to the new sheriffs in town. We have to put things in consumers’ hands.”

As healthcare systems pivot towards a customer-centric model, the focus shifts from perceiving the customer as a passive recipient to acknowledging their empowerment. Stanek envisions a future where healthcare systems provide customers with choices, control over treatment plans, transparent cost structures, health continuity through wearables and technology, and enhanced convenience in care delivery.

"All this is to say that we have to change our mindset," Stanek said. "According to Dr Stephen Klasko, former CEO of Jefferson Health, we are going through a once-in-a-lifetime change in healthcare. We're moving from a business-to-business model to a business-to-customer model. You have to fundamentally change how you view things."

You can read more about Dan's talk (even watch the full video) on the HealthSpaces blog. Want a copy of Dan's full POV on what it means to truly embrace Consumerism in Healthcare? Download the PDF below.

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