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Hospitals struggle to embrace consumer-centric care


Hospitals are focusing on the wrong metrics and failing to understand consumers as a result

Hospitals struggle to embrace consumer-centric care: ©Spiroviewinc - stock.adobe.com

Hospitals struggle to embrace consumer-centric care: ©Spiroviewinc - stock.adobe.com

Despite the growing conversation about making the U.S. health care system more patient-focused, hospitals and health systems still predominantly operate within a provider-centric model, according to "2023 State of the Healthcare Consumer" report by Kaufman Hall. The report is the result of extensive research, including survey responses from health care executives and interviews with industry leaders.

The findings of the report underscore that progress toward a consumer-centric health care model has been slow due to the way hospitals and health systems evaluate performance. Approximately half of the respondents said that their institutions only tracked traditional metrics, such as patient visit volumes, unique patient counts, and inpatient market share. Measures focusing on consumers, such as the cost of care to patients, were less commonly tracked.

"Hospitals and health systems need to embrace a consumer-facing approach and incorporate consumer needs and preferences into their operations," said Dan Clarin, Managing Director at Kaufman Hall and the report's lead author, in a statement. "Consumer-centric organizations understand that traditional transaction-based metrics fall short in providing insights into patient relationships with the hospital or the reasons behind patients' choices."

Key findings from the report include:

  • Health systems employing more patient-centric metrics use them to boost patient access, enhance patient satisfaction, and improve their marketing strategies.
  • The primary challenge in tracking consumer-centric metrics is the lack of available data or technology, noted by 69% of respondents.
  • Other obstacles include defining and prioritizing consumer-centric metrics (40% of respondents) and a lack of staff or staff roles responsible for metrics management (34%).

The Kaufman Hall State of the Healthcare Consumer report draws insights from 59 survey responses from hospitals and health systems across the United States and interviews with health care leaders. These organizations span approximately 30 states and represent various health care sectors, including health systems, community and rural hospitals, academic medical centers, pediatric hospitals, medical groups, and imaging centers.

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