Why It’s So Hard To Improve Consumer Engagement In Healthcare?

I spend a lot of my personal and professional time trying to figure out how to better engage consumers in healthcare.  If you can’t engage them, you can’t improve outcomes.

Never mind the fact that people experience about 5,000 messages a day so you have to cut through that clutter.

Even if we do cut through the clutter, people are busy living their lives.  They’re worried about their family.  They’re worried about the economy.  They’re trying to keep food on the table.  They are generally overwhelmed with too little sleep and too much stress.

But, let’s even assume that you can cut through the clutter and get them to listen, you still struggle with getting a person at a time when they are open to change.  These “golden moments” require them to see value in the change and feel like the short-term effort is worth the long-term gain.  This “value exchange” doesn’t often exist.  And, with 30% variance in the healthcare system, people often don’t trust the system.

Even with all that in mind, people still don’t engage.  They don’t get flu shots.  They don’t fill their medications.  They don’t understand the messages that are delivered to them.

Here’s a quick image I created for a presentation later this week.

Consumer

A few of the sources for this are:

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One Response to “Why It’s So Hard To Improve Consumer Engagement In Healthcare?”

  1. Maria von Hildebrand Reply March 21, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I wonder if US coins the term consumer in healthcare because people have to pay for it through private insurance?

    Do you regard a person with dementia, or stroke, or secondary cancer, as a consumer?
    For me the term consumer means someone who is going to buy a product for their home or family from a chain store or big purchases such as cars or homes.

    As a parent of a child who was terminally ill I neither regarded her or myself as consumers of healthcare. As an infant she had no say in her treatment, all decisions made were with parental consent and dependent on information exchange.

    I can understand the term consumer being used for healthy people who engage in healthy lifestyles for prevention of illness. For those people whose lives are severely compromised by illness and disease and whose health needs require constant compassion and care I’m not sure that consumer fits the profile. Consumer in my view implies transaction with a producer. Healthcare requires interaction not salesmanship. What do you think?

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