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Why is “Patient Experience” bad?

I have seen a lot of articles, blogs and posts suggesting that the term “Patient Experience” is inherently bad because it is derived from the term “Customer Experience”. Their focus is the word “Customer” which to them means a sale is involved and that a Patient is not buying anything, they get treated. I believe that these people need to look broader into what the “Customer Experience” really means.

As a former CPG executive for almost 20 years, I have seen many companies and brands (both large and small) develop their version of the Customer Experience. And I can tell you, no matter what the company calls the person a “customer”, “guest”, “shopper”, “consumer” or “member”, their ultimate goal is to make sure they are providing the right products/service, at the right time, at the right place in order for the customer to decide to utilize their offerings. They use appealing designs, proper lighting, appropriate colors, attractive offers, and more to send the right messages to their target audience.

This is not very different than what a health system conveys to their community- that they have the right products/services, at your time of need, at the right price in order for their potential patients to choose their health system over another. They use their facilities, staffs, technologies, awards, etc. to prove to the patient that they will make the right choice in health systems.

When most patients think of price, they think of “Does that health system take my insurance?” and “How much do I have to pay after insurance?” not necessarily $9 filler injections. They want to make sure they chose a system that fits what they want out of their healthcare- typically convenience, service, and reputation.

That is not unlike a customer who chooses to purchase from Neiman Marcus versus Sears, Target vs. Walmart, or Kroger vs. Whole Foods. They have a group of ideals that need to be met before they make a purchase decision, whichever retailers’ offerings are most in tune with that customer’s needs will get the purchase.

In my opinion, choosing to go to the place that offers the best stuff at the best locations at the best price is logical. Why wouldn’t every person want that with every facet of their life?

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