The Rise of the ‘Super Health Consumer,’ and the Effect of Transparency on Hospitals

Syms was the name of a clothing store that advertised, “an educated consumer is our best customer.” Perhaps what works in retail doesn’t translate so well to healthcare. Molly Gamble in Becker’s Hospital Review:

Between word-of-mouth, the CMS’ Hospital Compare, HealthGrades and various consumer blogs, patients have seemingly infinite amounts of healthcare data available to them. David Woolwine, vice president of Learning and Organizational Development at Sentara Healthcare, an eight-hospital system based in Norfolk, Va., notes that patients have become more informed over the past few years and have taken a new role in care delivery as a result. “They know the ins and outs of healthcare now,” he says. “They’ve looked at particular diagnoses and can participate in the delivery of their care. People look at quality and service ratings, blogs and all kinds of consumer comments. They are also asking more clinical questions,” says Mr. Woolwine.”


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