Patients as Consumers – Spring Forum Wrap up

Our spring forum team put together an engaging and topical panel discussion this past April.  Moderator Claudine Swartz, a WHCM steering committee member, did a fantastic job moderating for a second year in a row; asking thoughtful questions, and playing off the conversation to keep each panelist engaged.  As a marketing manager for a health system, the most interesting part to me was the discussion around encouraging patients to take control of their health, but concurrently how difficult it is to navigate the health system.  How can we help patients to stay well given these complexities?  Of particular interest was VAL Health’s VP of Business Development Georgia Buck and her discussion of Behavioral Economics – what makes people take an action?  One concept we’ve tried to employ at my organization is that of the “tribe” mentality; meaning if you see that others

One of the “tribe” ads

(neighbors, friends) are doing something, you are more likely to do it too.  We recently launched an ad campaign that had real community members (not actors) in it who were actually coming to us for their primary care, to create that tribe familiarity.

Others in our steering committee discussed with me their favorite takeaways – Jen Pendleton, our WHCM Chairwoman, mentioned what she enjoyed most and really resonated from the panel was identifying the New World order we are participating in within healthcare, i.e. consumerism. “I truly enjoyed all the work by each of the panelists… going into identifying transparency and pricing as well as choices of healthcare. Each panelist could define in their own business how they are wading the waters [of] this new business model of patients being customers.”  Kristina Phillipson, a WHCM membership committee member, was also intrigued as I was by how behavioral economics can be applied to affect healthcare consumer behavior. “I heard in the panel discussion a real shift in perspective to seeing patients as consumers. Healthcare is going beyond seeing patients as just Medicare vs Commercial and paying more attention to the diverse needs of multiple consumer segments. The speakers did a great job explaining how healthcare organizations must respond to market segments while also trying to pivot some towards healthier behaviors.”

We hope to see you at our next forum or networking event!

Submitted by WHCM Steering Committee Member  Rachel Renaux

The spring forum panel session.
Spring Forum dinner before the panel