Healthcare consumers have been “primed”

July 08, 2019

An essential factor to consider in the patient experience is what we call “priming” of the consumer. Because of Amazon Prime, the patient as a consumer now has a different level of expectations. They expect immediate responsiveness, credibility, empowerment, tools, videos, calculators — all those types of features on the site.

In 20 years of Amazon, they have been able to put an entire cohort together of early adopters, aggressive decision makers, and people who are very vocal advocates. And guess what? They buy twice as much, they shop twice as fast. And they happen to be 100 million people, right now. And they just hit the tipping point; now 51% of the households in the United States have been Amazon Primed.

That means Amazon Prime is training patients to do and think about health care providers like they do on Amazon. They come from Amazon, doing their daily business, and then they come to you and expect that same level of service. That same level of response.

But in the health care world, they have PPOs, insurances, co-pays, and the like.

For their Prime membership, they paid $120 a year and they now think everything is two-day turnaround. In some places, it’s already same-day, but no matter where you live, it will be next-day very soon.

That sounds great as a consumer, but what is that doing to all the other industries? Because that’s who is training your customer. In the past four years, healthcare providers have made people wait 30% more time to get the initial first appointment. It’s now a full 24 days to get an initial appointment. You see the disconnect? It’s huge.

So, marketing people who are tasked with getting people to move forward are working in a system doing the exact opposite of what consumers are being trained to expect every single day.