“The victors of health care over the next decade will all share one thing in common: the understanding that consumerism is king.”

— Ken Robbins, CEO, Mine Interactive in American Marketing Association’s Marketing Health News E-Newsletter (12/20/2017)


I was able to spend the first part of this last week, attending and speaking at the 10thannual Becker’s Hospital Review meeting in Chicago. As always, I am grateful to Scott Becker for the opportunity. I look forward to returning as a keynote speaker at the Becker’s CEO roundtable in November.


In my Becker’s presentation, The New Core: Move from transactions to meaningful connections, I discussed the ongoing ways in which consumer choice continues to drive even more of the work we do in health care. And, to remain agile, profitable and relevant we must engage with patient consumers on their terms—in their space and where “they live.” And while I have spoken about consumerism before, there is even more new data to support the drive towards a real marriage between consumer behavior and health care.


When it comes to consumerism today, here are the realities we face:


Consumerism and retail medicine are becoming a bigger piece of our business

  • The U.S. health care system is a $3.2 trillion market
    (ProShip by NeoPost, 2018).
  • 68% of today’s businesses consider getting into the health care market a significant priority.
    • Businesses such as Walgreens and CVS are taking e-commerce operations and transforming them into digital delivery platforms. 


Technology is driving consumerism in health care

  • In a 2018 study by Accenture, 48% of health care consumers are using mobile/tablet apps, compared to 16% in 2014.
  • 73%of health care consumers say they would use virtual care for after-hours appointments, 65% would use it for follow-up appointments and 52%say they would discuss specific health care concerns virtually.


Increased access to medical information online is becoming more common

  • In a 2017 study, Liquid State found that there are now over 318,000 health care apps available on top app stores worldwide, nearly double of what was available in 2015. 


The trend in healthy living and eating

  • According to FoodInsight,6 in 10 consumers (60%) say it is important to them that the food they purchase or consume is produced in a sustainable way, a rise from the 50% that said this in 2017.


Given that health care professionals understand consumerism isgrowing, how does this growth impact how we deal with patients and guide the patient experience while continuing to provide access to high quality, accessible and affordable care that delivers the most significant value?

  • Treat the patient like you would want to be treated.
  • The small but meaningful actions with patients go a long way.
  • Providing an extra level of caring is not only the right thing to do, but it builds lifelong loyalty


At Tampa General, for example, we are innovating new programs with the patient in mind, including house calls, same day appointments and telehealth. And this is just the beginning.


Finally, I began my presentation with this cool video. It encapsulates how quickly the world is moving, especially in the technology space. It is kind of mind-blowing. Check it out if you have a moment. The world is an exciting and ever-changing place.


Please be sure to look for my next column in Becker’s Hospital Review later this month.

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