3 insights into healthcare consumerism & what it means for your system

As consumerism and convenience continue to boom, healthcare and retail are becoming intertwined.

ECG Management Consultants Principals Jennifer Gingrass and Jessica Turgon discussed the current state of consumer markets and how they'll impact healthcare at Becker's Hospital Review 7th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable Nov. 14 in Chicago.

Here are three takeaways:

Ms. Turgon on Amazon and consumer choice: Think about the big behemoth sitting in the room, what does Amazon healthcare look like? What they did to retail, is that what they're going to do to healthcare? You're now seeing these major corporations that are going to change the paradigm saying, 'Hey, I'm uniquely positioned, even though I may not know anything about healthcare, I'm uniquely positioned to be a provider of healthcare.' [Amazon] owns Whole Foods, [Amazon] can put clinics in Whole Foods. If [Amazon] puts clinics in Whole Foods, what kind of clientele is that going to serve? ... How are you going to get that clientele back to your ambulatory system if folks going to Whole Foods get a choice for healthcare?

Ms. Gingrass on patient consumerism: There's some interesting data around the consumer and what they prioritize around access and convenience. Let's face it, our hospitals have not been the bastion of access and convenience. They are confusing. They are hard to navigate. There are often 500 phone numbers on a website and it's hard to figure out who to call and where to go. Consumers are starting to prioritize convenience over continuity and credentials.

Ms. Turgon on venture capital funding going into innovation: You think, 'Okay, where do we play? Are we the incumbents? Are we the driver of change?' Particularly related to innovation, the digital health market had $11.7 billion dollars in venture capital funding in digital health worldwide. Most of it is in China and most of it is in population health. [With the scarcity of real estate], they can't afford to make buildings, they can't afford to make hospitals, they can't afford to build bricks and mortars close to different centers of care. They have to look at digital health as a platform to the future."

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