As reported in Forbes, a number of firms such as Pager and Doctors Making House Calls now bring doctors directly to patients’ homes. These businesses can save patients considerable time and the expense of an emergency room visit by partnering with medical providers.
How many times have you heard the phrase “Uberization of healthcare” or “the Uber effect”? Uberization refers to healthcare systems providing services in a more on-demand, transparent fashion. It’s quite possibly the buzzword of the 2010s. But as important as Uberization is, the phenomenon is part of a broader trend that has been occurring for years: healthcare systems acting like retailers, or the retailing of healthcare.
Retailing refers to healthcare systems treating patients like the informed consumers they are. The phenomenon manifests itself in many ways:
Patient friendly environments Hospitals are looking and acting like retailers to provide a more pleasant and user-friendly environment for patients and visitors. Nine out of 10 hospitals surveyed by Food Service Director offer both patient and retail services such as restaurants and Starbucks coffee shops. Nearly half offer on-demand room service. One health system offers amenities such as massage therapy. A new hospital in this system, currently under construction, has been said to resemble an Apple store. That’s fitting since Apple was among the companies that helped bankroll the facility that will reimagine the medical environment by providing experiences such as rooftop gardens.
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