Consumerism in Health Care

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Introduction and Summary

Consumerism in healthcare is an aspect meant to improve the effectiveness of healthcare delivery by offering more efficient and cost-effective healthcare services. Healthcare consumerism is achieved through the transformation of an employer’s health benefit plan by involving healthcare consumers in the decision-making process (Gurtner & Soyez, 2015). With consumers of healthcare services being involved in the decision making process, this has enabled the consumers to access important information which has helped them in making effective purchasing decisions. This has also led to an increase in consumer knowledge and perception on healthcare (Gurtner & Soyez, 2015).

Research Regarding Customer Perception of Health Care over the Past 5 Years

Healthcare facilities have been able to foster improved communication and cooperation between healthcare practitioners and their patients (Johnson, 2017). This has also allowed patients to access important information that has enhanced their knowledge on healthy behaviors and wellness practices which are important in improving the health of the patients in diverse perspectives (Johnson, 2017). The decisions made by healthcare consumers have an impact on healthcare spending. With this shift aiming to enhance transparency in the healthcare system, research forecast has indicated a narrowing gap between consumer’s unmet needs and the system’s performance (Johnson, 2017).

Customer Service or Consumerism in Allied Health Care

This study aims at revealing how consumers perceive medical services focusing on inpatient services. Consumers’ perspective in the healthcare sector is a vital aspect as patients’ views may influence the process of healthcare delivery in diverse aspects (Izugami & Takase, 2016). This may include a determination of whether a service meets specific needs and objectives. This has transformed the healthcare sector with healthcare professionals improving their knowledge in identifying consumer’s needs and facilitating consumers’ participation in service provision. This has enabled the healthcare practitioners to better meet consumer needs (Izugami & Takase, 2016).

Research Forecast On the Trends For the Next 5 Years

Consumers are increasingly impacting healthcare delivery in diverse aspects. This is based on their enhanced expectations on the fulfillment of different healthcare needs. Analyzing consumer satisfaction is one way of determining consumers’ perceptions that can be used to develop more effective solutions to improve service delivery (Johnson, 2017).

Patient satisfaction can also be used to determine the outcome of healthcare processes by identifying some of the areas that may require improvements. This has led to a shift from quality care to patient-centered care that focuses on patients who are the consumers of healthcare services (Johnson, 2017). Involving consumers of healthcare in the decision-making process will help healthcare providers to understand consumers’ experiences in diverse aspects of healthcare. This will also address any gap between the expectations of consumers and actual services provided by healthcare facilities (Johnson, 2017).


An Overview Of The Scope Of The Study In The Chosen Article By Explaining Data Collection And Where To Find The Data
The study aims at reflecting consumers’ perspectives in the provision of health care services. It is important to understand detailed consumers’ perceptions in an effort to promote the provision of healthcare services from the consumers’ point of view (Izugami & Takase, 2016).

This study was conducted through semi-structured interviews where ten adults who had experienced hospitalization for more than five days were involved. The descriptive data collected was analyzed using constant comparative analysis where different variables where identified and analyzed (Izugami & Takase, 2016).

These include medical procedures, behavior of healthcare providers, perceptions of medical professionals, somatic sensations, and the perceptions of consumers on different factors during hospitalization. This enabled the researchers to understand the perceptions of patients on different healthcare aspects, as they are the consumers of healthcare services (Izugami & Takase, 2016).

Information collected indicates customers play a role in freely deciding whether a service meets their purchase objective. The use of questionnaire-based surveys had many benefits in providing information related to consumers’ perceptions of medical services (Izugami & Takase, 2016).

However, in order to investigate specific consumer perceptions, a descriptive qualitative research design was selected which was based on personal interviews using the semi-structured interview guide (Izugami & Takase, 2016). This research design has been indicated as the best method to understand different social processes and complex phenomena such as personal experiences and consumers’ perceptions in a healthcare setting. These interviews were enhanced to provide an in depth personal perceptions with the participants providing their information by voicing their experiences having being inpatients in the different facilities facility (Izugami & Takase, 2016).

Sampling was also done in selecting the participants by completing a 60-minute personal interview where six men and four women were selected. These participants had also experienced hospitalization of five days or more giving them the opportunity to experience different factors while at the facility (Izugami & Takase, 2016). The recruitment was conducted at the study sites with the researcher obtaining consent from the participants by explaining the nature of the study to interested patients. The choice of study participation was re-affirmed before the interview.

Every information provided was analyzed for each participant in the order of the interviews (Izugami & Takase, 2016). This information can be accessed from the National Center for Biotechnology and PloS one which is a website for publishing peer-reviewed science. The data collected related to consumers’ experience regarding inpatient services was categorized into the five categories of interest to help in carefully analyzing the data and drawing accurate conclusions (Izugami & Takase, 2016).

Validity and Reliability of the Research Findings

Through an effective data collection process, the validity and reliability of research findings was enhanced since not everyone was allowed to participate in the study. Data analysis was conducted concurrently with data collection using the constant comparative method as recommended by Strauss and Cordin (Izugami & Takase, 2016). This was done to ensure that no information was corrupted. This also ensured data accuracy as questionnaires have been identified as one of the research instruments for their validity and reliability.

Tests were also conducted to validate data collected through the questionnaires (Bolarinwa, 2015). The record for each participant was carefully and thoroughly read with information where patients talked about inpatient medical services being highlighted based on the content. The data was also compared with previously analyzed cases (Bolarinwa, 2015). The collection and analysis of data was conducted under the supervision of a nursing researcher and a sociologist who have specialized in qualitative research.


Information was categories into five parts which are somatic sensations, perceptions of medical consumers during hospitalizations, medical procedures, behavior of healthcare providers, and explanations provided by the healthcare practitioners. The experiences of patients were analyzed using descriptive statistics based on the five categories (Izugami & Takase, 2016). Based on the first category involving medical procedures, surgery and anesthesia led to unpleasant feelings to the patients (Izugami & Takase, 2016).

The second category that involved explanation from medical professionals was also analyzed where explanation of the treatment progress and results was analyzed, explanation of required behaviors for the treatment, and explanation of nurse call. Most consumers encountered an unexpected situation with some of them feeling unconvinced to a greater extent (Izugami & Takase, 2016). In the category of explanations of required behaviors for the treatment, most of the patients followed the instructions.

The third category involved the behavior of medical service providers which was also analyzed. This included the behavior of nurses and nurse assistants (Izugami & Takase, 2016). Most patients think that observed behaviors in relation to the behavior of medical service providers cannot be helped since they spend a limited time with the patients. Doctors and nurses seem too busy as they enter one room to give medication where they immediately proceed to the next room (Izugami & Takase, 2016).

The category of somatic sensations during the hospitalization was also analyzed. This included pain, nausea, and sense of being connected to medical devices. This was compared to their expectations before the hospitalization. Patients who experienced unexpected pain think that it cannot be helped (Izugami & Takase, 2016). The last category which is self-perceived physical condition comprised operative wound, bleeding, and the contents of the tube connected to the body.

Some patients asked questions in relation to the contents of tubes connected to their bodies. Patients undergoing operative wounds felt the possibility of unexpected situations happening during this process (Izugami & Takase, 2016). This data was presented in more meaningful way where other users of this information would be able to interpret the data.

Inferential statistics analysis was also applied to a population which involved 10 patients who had previous experienced inpatient services for five days or more (Heale & Twycross, 2015). This population can be used to describe and make inferences about the entire population in consideration. The ten patients involved in the study were used to describe all views of other individuals in the same category (Heale & Twycross, 2015).

However, this could lead to a sampling error, as the sample may not perfectly represent the population in question. Information collected may also be limited in different aspects leading to in effective conclusions (Heale & Twycross, 2015).


The findings of the research indicated the importance of understanding consumers’ perspectives of medical services from their experience that can be used to enhance the achievement of healthcare goals where their needs are adequately addressed (Izugami & Takase, 2016).

Information provided by this study indicate the perceptions of consumers in an inpatient medical department in different aspects which include medical procedures, somatic sensations, behavior of medical providers, perceptions of consumers on different factors during hospitalization, and explanations from medical professionals (Izugami & Takase, 2016).

These perceptions are intertwined with their healthcare needs which calls for collaboration between healthcare providers and patients in diverse perspectives. This will enhance the decision-making process leading to decisions that are more effective (Izugami & Takase, 2016).

Since patients are the consumers of healthcare services, this will also lead to reliable expectations prior to hospitalization. These expectations are important as they impact the evaluation of received care (Jimoh, Mankanjuola, Oluwatoyin, & Babaita, 2019). More opportunities should be provided to consumers of healthcare to participate in the delivery of healthcare an aspect that will lead to improved healthcare delivery.

Healthcare providers should provide more information to the consumers of healthcare to improve their purchasing decisions (Jimoh et al., 2019). This will also enhance communication between patients and healthcare providers that could address some of the issues facing the patients as well as increase consumers’ knowledge in different healthcare aspects. This is because the current consumers want to take control of their own health in collaboration with service providers that will help the healthcare providers to meet the future needs of healthcare delivery (Jimoh et al., 2019).


  • Bolarinwa, O. (2015). Principles and methods of validity and reliability testing of questionnaires used in social and health science researches. Nigerian Postgraduate Medical Journal. 22(4), 195-201.
  • Gurtner, S., & In Soyez, K. (2015). Challenges and Opportunities in Health Care Management. Cham: Springer International Publishing: Imprint: Springer.
  • Heale, R., & Twycross, A. (2015). Validity and reliability in quantitative research. Evidence-Based Nursing. 18(3). 66-67.
  • Izugami, S., & Takase, K. (2016). Consumer Perception of Inpatient Medical Services. PloS one, 11(11), e0166117. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166117
  • Jimoh, S. M., Mankanjuola, A. T., Oluwatoyin, S. A., A., B. F., & Babaita, I. S. (2019). Health Consumer Expectations and Perception of Quality Care Services at Primary Health Care Level in Nigeria. Journal of Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences, 18(1), 47.
  • Johnson, T. (2017). A Pediatrician’s Perspective: Value-Based Care, Consumerism, and the Practice of Pediatrics: A Glimpse of the Future. Pediatrics, 139(Suppl 2), 145–146. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-2786I


Cite this paper

Consumerism in Health Care. (2020, Sep 16). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/consumerism-in-health-care/



What are examples of consumer health?
Examples of consumer health include maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and seeking medical attention when necessary. Additionally, using safe and effective products for personal care, hygiene, and medication management also fall under consumer health practices.
Which of the following is a challenge of consumerism in healthcare?
One challenge of consumerism in healthcare is that it can lead to patients becoming more focused on obtaining services that they perceive as valuable, rather than on receiving high-quality care. Additionally, consumerism in healthcare can create financial burdens for patients, as they may be required to pay more out-of-pocket for services.
Why is consumer choice important in health care marketing?
1. It allows consumers to choose the health care provider that best meets their needs. 2. It gives consumers the power to choose the health care services they want and need.
Why is consumerism in healthcare important?
Healthcare consumerism is a movement to make the delivery of healthcare services more efficient and cost-effective . It transforms an employer's health benefit plan, putting the economic purchasing power and decision-making in the hands of plan participants.
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