When Focusing on Patient Experience, Forget the Men

Many patients have bad customer service experience when they receive healthcare. As the industry moves to improve, they ought to look to the people making most healthcare decisions -- women.

My two worst customer experiences are flying Frontier Airlines and buying a new car. I guess others felt the same, since Frontier responded to all time low grades by replacing the CEO and changing their pricing structure. When it comes to buying a new car, others agree. I'm sure getting sick-care is on a lot of patients’ all-time worst experience lists as well.

Sick-care providers, health entrepreneurs, and payers finally got the memo because we are seeing new ways to engage, inform, and educate "before and after the sale." For example, Wellbe raised $1.4 million to scale their platform. Hospitals are using pre- and post-op interventions to reduce length of stays , inappropriate ER use, and readmissions following elective surgery. Insurance companies are creating consumer education divisions and products to improve health literacy with the expectation that it will change behaviors that are more cost-effective. The model will also be used to educate and inform those with orphan diseases, recruit more patients into clinical trials and manage populations with chronic diseases.

Winning the sick-care aftermarket is a big opportunity and we are likely to see more and more patients being treated like customers. More and more women, that is, since they make 85% of healthcare decisions. They think completely differently than men and marketers know how to push their buttons.

All this will hopefully make things better. A recent topic of conversation is what doctors should wear when they are seeing patients. At the least, we should be able to get rid of those car salesman plaid pants.