Tag Archives: healthcare consumer

Healthcare Consumerism: Patient expectations are changing

You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike. The task seemed simple enough: book an appointment for a follow-up visit with an orthopedic surgeon in Ottawa based on a referral from an orthopedic surgeon in Toronto. Yet, by my third call, I was beginning to feel like I was in one of those subterranean mazes that characterized Colossal Cave Adventure, one of the first computer games I ever played. While logic and common sense finally prevailed and I was able to book an appointment, the experience reinforced my contention that patients are also consumers and will increasingly demand the same level of service from their healthcare providers that they do of other service providers.

Check out the rest the rest of my article at Technology for Doctors.



Patient or healthcare consumer? Is there a difference?

Where am I? Why am I having trouble focusing? Oh, wait a minute … that’s my hand … at least, I think that’s my hand. Why does it appear to be moving in slow motion and leaving a blurry trail in its wake? Oh, hang on, there’s my foot. It’s in a cast! Oh, now I remember … it’s all coming back to me now.

Check out the rest of my article at Technology for Doctors.


Not just a rose by any other name

Neil Seeman is  one of my favourite eHealth writers and, perhaps, one my favourite essayists period.  I find his style quite readable and his insights nearly always thought provoking.

In a recent short essay, Neil takes on one of my  favourite topics: the “patient” vs. “consumer” debate.


As you may know from earlier posts, I believe that people act in different “roles” when engaging the healthcare system, sometimes they are a patient under a physician’s care and sometimes they are a consumer seeking advice for a proposed course of treatment for a newly diagnosed disease.  I contend that understanding these dual roles in critical when designing eHealth systems that involve the subject of care.

Neil takes an interesting approach to addressing this matter – ask the people to whom these words are applied what they wish to be called.  While I like Neil’s approach, the examples that he cites are only ones where I believe the word “patient” is most appropriate. I suggest that we ask people searching google to learn about a medication they have been prescribed or to learn more about the cancer that their Mom was recently diagnosed to have to determine whether these people view themselves as patient or consumer.

If you are looking for well written, easy to read yet thought provoking pieces on eHealth, have a look at Neil Seeman’s work.  I don’t always agree with him but I always enjoy reading what he has written.