Healthcare consumerism is a movement to make healthcare services more efficient and cost-effective. It transforms an employer’s health benefit plan, putting the economic purchasing power and decision-making in participants’ hands. Consumerism aims to enable patients to become wholly involved in their healthcare decisions.
What does consumerism mean in healthcare?
Introduction – In modern American medicine, the patient–provider relationship had historically been characterized as paternalistic ( 1 ), that is whereby physicians would make decisions for their patients and patient autonomy was mostly lacking. However, the movement toward patient-centered care has reframed the patient–provider relationship as a shared partnership ( 2 ), and the more recent advent of healthcare consumerism has further influenced this relationship.
- In healthcare consumerism, patients make their own healthcare decisions based on their knowledge acquired through literature, the internet, and direct-to-patient advertising ( 3 ).
- Defined by the Institute Of Medicine as “care that is respectful and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions (p.40),” patient-centered care was officially adopted at the beginning of the twenty-first century as a core impetus to deliver better quality healthcare in the United States ( 2 ).
Its six dimensions include: respect for patients’ values, preferences, and expressed needs; coordination and integration of care; information, communication, and education; physical comfort; emotional support-relieving fears and anxiety; and involvement of family and friends.
Aside from its ethical and moral imperative, patient-centered care has improved clinical outcomes and patients’ quality of life while reducing costs and disparities ( 4 ). On the other hand, the views on the impact of healthcare consumerism are split. Advocates of consumerism assert that it improves the quality of care and reduces costs ( 5 ), while others are skeptical because patients can be misinformed or even manipulated to demand what is not necessarily in their best interest ( 6 ).
Although patient-centered care and healthcare consumerism might overlap in patient empowerment, some bioethicists argue, healthcare should not be seen as a commodity that can be bought and sold to consumers who are willing and capable of paying for it ( 7, 8 ).
- The ambivalence toward healthcare consumerism is observable in people’s attitudes toward the terms used to refer to patients.
- Even before healthcare consumerism fully established itself in the U.S.
- Public policy documents, a hospital manager told providers, “continue to call them patients but treat them like customers” ( 9 ).
Indeed, the public favors the traditional term, patient, over alternatives like client, customer, or consumer ( 10 ). Also, patients said they were more comfortable with being patients rather than taking on the role of highly engaged consumers ( 11 ).
- On the other hand, we know little about the providers’ perspective on patient-centered care and consumerism ( 12 ).
- Healthcare service advertisements might offer a window into the providers’ perspective.
- According to the positioning theory of strategic communication, an organization intentionally adopts a position and implements speech acts that align with it.
The outwardly expressed position, in turn, supports the legitimacy of the organization to claim the position and guides further actions ( 13 ). Healthcare service advertisements constitute the most widely disseminated speech acts by providers, and occasional controversies over explicitly commercial healthcare service advertisements offer rare glimpses into the struggle between the mandate for profits and the higher expectation placed on healthcare providers to transcend the reality of the market-based U.S.
- Healthcare economy ( 14, 15 ).
- To date, studies cataloging the content of healthcare service advertisements are rare.
- Two studies that analyzed cosmetic surgery advertisements concluded that doctors’ professional attributes, such as training and board certification, were prevalent ( 16, 17 ).
- Consumer ratings and awards were also present, although not as common as professional attributes ( 17 ).
Consumer ratings (eg, Yelp.com, Healthgrades.com) are consumer-driven quality indicators that were perceived by physicians to be less accurate than the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey conducted by the U.S.
- Government ( 18 ).
- Also, in a rare empirical examination of the relationship between Yelp ratings and objective patient outcomes, higher Yelp ratings were related to higher patient mortality from some procedures when other relevant variables (eg, share of Medicaid patients, Black patients, resident-bed ratio, etc) were controlled; Yelp ratings were not related to two other outcome measures used in the study ( 19 ).
Similarly, higher patient satisfaction scores from the HCAHPS survey were associated with unintended, undesirable outcomes such as higher hospital readmission and mortality rates ( 20 ). Hence, consumer ratings may meet the definition of healthcare consumerism (i.e., patients make their own healthcare decisions based on their knowledge acquired through the internet and other sources), but not necessarily contribute to high-quality care, the ultimate goal for which patient-centered care was introduced in the first place ( 2 ).
Given the increasing emphasis on a provider’s personality as a key factor in selecting a provider ( 21 ), one could also view the provider’s personality as an aspect of healthcare consumerism, especially since no consistent relationships have been found between providers’ personality attributes and improved patient outcomes ( 22 ).
With no published data on patient experience promoted in healthcare service advertisements, convenience can be deemed as indicating either patient-centeredness or consumerism, because most convenience-enhancing measures could be adopted to enhance patient access as much as to gain competitive advantages over other providers.
- On the other hand, amenities such as luxurious interiors and valet parking can be more clearly classified as indicators of consumerism.
- Furthermore, references to “patients” versus “consumers/clients/customers” can suggest how providers wish to position themselves and their care.
- In health policy documents in the United Kingdom, the term “consumer” was used strategically to support the consumerist orientation of the incumbent political party ( 23 ).
At the individual level, some providers also expressed apprehension about using “consumers/clients/customers” due to its connotation to healthcare consumerism ( 24 ). In fact, providers may simply refer to patients as “you” to avoid ambivalence while appealing to audiences who are accustomed to “synthetic personalization”—use of second-person pronouns in commercial advertising to give an impression of mass audiences that they are treated as individuals ( 25 ).
Lastly, the notion of clusivity in linguistics is adopted to identify the positioning of providers in healthcare service advertisements. In many languages, we, a first-person plural pronoun, could be either inclusive or exclusive of the addressee ( 26 ). When applied to the current analysis, clusivity could reveal the boundary of the first-person plural pronoun in the ads.
For example, use of we inclusive of both the provider and patient could be considered as a manifestation of patient-centeredness. On the other hand, the co-presence of we and “our doctor(s)” may suggest that we include administrative staff only, indicating a distance between providers and patients. Patient-centeredness and consumerism in healthcare service advertising content. RQ1. How do healthcare providers position their service(s) in online advertisements through the use of (1) provider attributes, (2) patient experience features, and the terms (3) referring to patients and (4) referring to providers? The two current studies of provider advertisements analyzed cosmetic surgery advertisements only ( 16, 17 ).
What are the key concepts of consumerism?
Key Takeaways –
Consumerism is the theory that individuals who consume goods and services in large quantities will be better off.Some economists believe that consumer spending stimulates production and economic growth.Economists view consumption as about fulfilling biological needs & wants based on maximizing utility.Sociologists instead view consumption as additionally about fulfilling socially-inscribed needs and wants via symbolic transactions.Hyper-consumerism has been widely criticized for its economic, social, environmental, and psychological consequences.
What is consumerism examples?
Examples that illustrate consumerism as an economic philosophy include: An automobile company that decides to discontinue certain cars because of lack of demand. An individual purchasing a tea set simply because of its attractiveness, believing that possessing it will impact their social status.
How does consumerism affect human health?
Effects of consumerism on individuals: Obesity – Research shows a close link between the rise of the modern culture of consumerism and the worrying rates of obesity we are seeing around the world. However, this should come as no surprise, since consumerism implies exactly that – using as much as we can, rather than as much as we need.
What are the three types of consumerism?
Types of Consumer Decisions There are three major categories of consumer decisions – nominal, limited, and extended – all with different levels of purchase involvement, ranging from high involvement to low involvement.
What are three effects of consumerism?
On this page: Misuse of land and resources. Exporting Pollution and Waste from Rich Countries to Poor Countries. Obesity due to Excessive Consumption. A cycle of waste, disparities and poverty.
What are the problems with consumerism?
The negative effects of consumerism include the depletion of natural resources and pollution of the Earth. The way the consumer society is working is not sustainable. We are currently overusing Earth’s natural resources with more than 70 percent.
What causes consumerism?
Origins of Consumerism in the United States The North American consumerism movement began during the Industrial Revolution when the production of material goods grew beyond consumers’ basic needs and interests.
What is the opposite of consumerism?
Anti-consumerism is a sociopolitical ideology that is opposed to consumerism, the continual buying and consuming of material possessions.
Why is consumerism important?
Importance of Consumerism –
Consumerism is important because it helps develop a good relationship between producers and consumers. When the producers know the needs of the customers for satisfaction, then they can produce or make the products accordingly. Also, if the producers successfully satisfy the consumers, then a good relationship can be built between the consumers and the producers. This ensures the increased selling of other goods and services from the corresponding producer by the respective consumer. It is also seen that the consumer gets the information about the correct product and the respective price. You must have seen many advertisements or demos where you are shown the product and asked what should be the price of the product. All this is the effect of Consumerism. The producer will be compelled to avoid unfair trade practices. Earlier, the sellers used to charge different prices from different customers for the same product. For those who used to be relatives or friends of the seller, the seller used to sell their product at lower prices, whereas to other customers, they used to charge higher prices. This unfair trade practice is not usually seen, but still, there are some cases in which such unfair trade practices occur. But, Consumerism has helped a lot in reducing such unfair trade practices. The consumer organization will maintain liaison with a producer on the one hand and, on the other hand, with the government authority. Liaison means that Consumerism helps maintain a good relationship between producers, the government, and consumers. Consumerism says that the customer is king, and it is very important to take care of the welfare of the consumers and satisfy their needs. It provides a legal redressal mechanism to protect the rights of consumers. Consumer courts are an example of such a legal instrument. It also increases economic output and creates jobs. As the needs of the consumers never end, many new products enter the market, which ultimately increases the economic output and many job opportunities as new industries enter the market. Consumerism benefits not only the consumers but also the companies selling their products to end users. As the demand and needs of the consumers’ increase, the companies will try to fulfil the demand, and they will produce more, and the consumer will buy those products, which consequently helps the companies earn wealth. It also promotes competition, which is a very important component of any market and for consumers. Because of the presence of competition in the market, each company will try to make products better and more affordable so that the customers choose their products over other companies. It allows for a large variety of goods and services. Companies start offering a variety of goods and services so that they can satisfy all the needs and demands of the different consumers, and because of this, the customers also receive what they were expecting. Consumerism also improves the quality of life of people as consumers start buying luxury products within their budget so that they can live without any hassle.
What is the biggest influence on consumerism?
What is consumer behavior? – Consumer behavior refers to the study of what causes individuals and organizations to purchase certain products and support certain brands. This area of study focuses primarily on behavior, motivations and psychology.
- Psychological factors: The way a person responds to an ad campaign depends largely on their own perceptions, attitudes and general view of life.
- Personal factors: Audience demographics such as age, culture, profession, age and background play major roles in forming consumers’ interests and opinions.
- Social factors: A person’s social groups affect how they shop. Their income, education level and social class influence their buying behaviors.
What are the four pillars of consumerism?
Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash Transactions are what keep a business going; a potential customer fills out a form, purchases a product, or otherwise completes some “conversion” action, and the more of these actions a business realizes, the more revenue it stands to make.
- Accordingly, most marketers have dedicated themselves to a kind of “trial and error” game, throwing out different designs, different copy, and different angles, and only keeping what ends up getting them more transactions.
- I can’t argue with this approach; it’s practical, numbers-based, and reliable in terms of getting better results.
Mathematically, it’s reliable, but there are a couple of problems that hold it back: · You start with nothing, You’ll gather data as you experiment with new approaches, but if you want a stronger start with a new concept, you need some pre-existing understanding.
· Your results are quantitative, Yes, you’ll get more transactions, but why? Understanding why helps you know your customers better, which leads you to make more customer-oriented decisions in other areas of your business. Accordingly, it’s good to keep this trial-and-error model, but it’s also important to understand the psychology that goes into a consumer transaction in the first place.
Why are people buying your products or filling out your forms? What’s motivating them? 1. Novelty and Attention When the brain encounters something “new,” it triggers a release of dopamine, Theoretically, this is a mechanism that evolved to help us learn and absorb more information from these new experiences, but in the marketing context, it means people pay more attention to messages that are unlike those they’ve encountered in the past.
This is especially true because the digital marketing world is hyper-competitive, and users tend to filter out designs and messages they’ve come to categorize as “advertising.” Your goal should be to stand out, to grab and sustain attention, so you need to do something at least slightly off the beaten path.
For example, you may choose a controversial message or image to arouse users’ natural interests, or strive for an unconventional format that stands out from the crowd.2. Trust Trust is a complex and multifaceted psychological element of transaction, and it probably warrants multiple sub-sections, but I can’t help categorizing these ideas together since they all stem from a common idea.
- The idea here is that a user feels safe and secure transacting with you.
- They believe you won’t use their email address for spam, that you’ll actually send the product you’ve ordered, and that you aren’t lying in your overall messaging.
- For long-time customers, this trust is inherent.
- For new customers, however, you’ll have to build this through subtle indications.
For example: · Social indicators. Demonstrating that you’ve been accepted by others will make new people accept you easier. Customer reviews, testimonials, and even the presence of a human face can make you seem more trustworthy. · Brand history and reliability.
- Showing off your company history goes a long way to securing a foundation of trust — link to more information for those who want it.
- · Familiarity and warmth.
- People have more trust for personable, approachable brands, or brands that they identify with.
- Showcasing a personality in your voice and design that matches those of your target audience will create an environment of welcoming and trust.
These are just a handful of ways to build trust, so get creative here. Ask yourself, why would a new user trust this message? 3. Value Let’s assume you’ve gotten a customer’s attention, and you’ve managed to earn their trust. Does that mean they’re going to buy from you? Not necessarily.
At their core, exchanges are still logical transactions; you aren’t going to spend money on something unless you’re convinced that it’s worth that money (and the same idea applies to submitting your personal information). Therefore, your next job is convincing your audience that what you’re offering is worth more than the value exchange you’re requesting.
For example, you might list out all the competitive advantages your product offers over any others currently on the market. You might also offer something objectively better — such as giving users a free eBook in exchange for giving you their personal information.
However you do it, you need to tip the scales in favor of the user; make it clear that there’s an objective value in transacting.4. Urgency Finally, there’s the dilemma of urgency; if you assume that your customers have paid attention to you, trust you, and see the value in your products, a transaction is still not a done deal.
Many consumers at this point, thanks to the constant availability of information on the web, will say to themselves, “maybe later,” and later never comes. The urge for consumers to procrastinate is strong, so you need to convey a strong sense of urgency if you want them to close the deal.
- How do you create this urgency? There are dozens of different ways, but some of my favorites are using powerful, action-based language, implying a degree of scarcity, or putting a time limit on the transaction.
- The psychology behind consumer transactions is far more complex than my four pillars (novelty, trust, value, and urgency) could feasibly cover in a comprehensive way.
However, if you start dissecting your users’ behavior in terms of these four categories, you’ll be able to produce higher-converting content and ads, then walk away with a more complete understanding of your customers’ psychology. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple emotional connection.
What is the difference between consumption and consumerism?
Consumption and consumerism are two terms people often use interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings. Consumption is a basic human need, while consumerism is an ideology that encourages excessive and conspicuous consumption beyond our basic needs.
How does consumerism affect society?
A century ago, Hannah Arendt, a philosopher, warned us about the advancement of technology and how humankind could use it to consume the world: “That consumption is no longer restricted to the necessities but, on the contrary, mainly concentrates on the superfluities of life.” (Arendt 1958).
Today, we live in the era of mass consumption that Ardent warned us about. So, what is consumerism, when did it emerge & what led to its expansion? Consumerism is a sociological and economical belief that goes hand in hand with the never-ending cycle of the acquisition of goods and services in a surplus way; so basically, consuming beyond a person’s needs.
The concept of consumerism started after the Second World War and then intensified with the start of the industrial revolution. It describes the effect of paralleling one’s happiness with materialistic possessions and consumptions. Many researchers argued that consumerism divides the beneficial connection between nature and the human spirit (Berry,1995; Emerald,2004) whereas others view consumerism as a concept that “lifts people from drudgery “, gives people a purpose in life, and connects crowds using a common consumer culture (Mc Daniel,2000).
- Hence, with this duality of viewpoints, this article will explore the major benefits and drawback effects of consumerism on society.
- One of the major benefits of consumerism is its important impact on economic growth.
- Nowadays, spending power has been growing with an increase in people’s income and amplification of their living standards.
The more people spend on goods, the greater the production of those goods, employment rates increase, and thus, the economy grows. This process lessens homelessness and provides food and job security for those in need. In addition, consumerism encourages creativity.
- Since we live in a world where competition is predominant, individuals and organizations are now obliged to come up with innovative products that others don’t already possess.
- The pressure of always wanting to do better than the other business competitors pushes these organizations to come up with better products that correspond to society’s needs.
In addition, consumerism impacts people’s culture. The increase in the consumption of luxury goods in our everyday life has altered human interaction. Going back to Marx’s “commodity of fetishism”, there is this habit of overlooking human interactions when looking at the pursuit of consumption.
Most importantly, consumerism refers to an economic policy that emphasizes the liberty and free choice of the consumer. However, are the consumers actually free, or are they turning into the slaves of consumption? Indeed, this is the paradoxical side of consumerism. Products are always being updated, with the long series of Apple iPhones being a primary example.
This rapid change of products and the usage of the term “new” will result in dissatisfaction with the “old “, leading to an eternity of dissatisfaction. A study conducted by Ackerman, MacInnis, and Folkes in 2000 proved that consumers can become less satisfied with their products and develop a greater desire for other products even if they have the same ones but in older versions.
- Consequently, this explains why companies like “Apple” always update their electronics because individuals are in an “endless pursuit of wanting more” (Campbell, 1989).
- Indeed, consumerist societies push people to adapt to this consumerist way of life (with the help of advertisements and the media) by showing them that it is essential for their existence and happiness.
Hence, it is not just about acquiring the goods but also the notion of “being someone”. People started seeking their own identity through consumerism: “the consumer culture encourages us not only to buy more but to seek our identity and fulfillment through what we buy, to express our individuality through our choices of the product” (Kilbourne, 2006).
- People are then encouraged by social forces, in particular consumer culture and marketing, to be themselves, to discover their individuality and freedom.
- However, a big paradox surfaces here: the tragedy of this culture is when people actually believe that they came up with an idea that they identify with and they think that it’s unique and different, yet they discover that everyone is doing the same later on (listening to the same music, dressing the same way, etc.).
So, here is one more question: is individuality a myth in the modern consumerism culture? George Simmel pointed that out precisely by questioning this notion: how can individuals be unique and special if they are swallowed up in the machinery of the modern culture of consumerism? So, as a consequence of this modernist consumerism culture, people don’t have a sense of being distinct but rather treat each other as transactions.
- Moreover, the world we live in advocates for fast-paced and unsatisfactory decisions.
- Research has shown that impulsive buyers are unreflective in their thinking and pay little attention to the consequence of their purchase (Kacen & Lee, 2002).
- So, impulsiveness can be seen as a characteristic of the consumerist culture.
Apart from affecting society’s culture, consumerism leads to global inequality. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, resulting in a huge gap between the rich and the poor. For example, in 2005, 59% of the world’s resources were consumed by 10% of the wealthiest population in the world.
- This shows that globalization and consumerism lead to the unequal distribution of wealth.
- Moreover, with the increase of demands for goods comes the increase of production, which leads to more pollution, amplified land-use, and exploitation of natural resources.
- Waste disposal is also becoming a worldwide problem where the oceans are becoming giant disposal pits.
Consumerism is leading to pollution and resource depletion and scarcity. To conclude, consumerism is the excess of what a person actually needs, and it has its advantages and drawbacks. However, the negative side of it outweighs its benefits. It had a deep impact on individuals’ psyche, resulting in developing a constantly unsatisfied state of mind.
The concept of consumerism threatens to destroy the human spiritual connection with nature. A radical change must be seen: we need to find ways to protect and conserve resources for generations to come. Also, institutions must implicate massive amendments and modifications, and most importantly, educating people on this unsustainable consumption would be a strong weapon to address this worldwide issue.
References: Ackerman, D., MacInnis, D., & Folkes, V. (2000). Social comparisons of possessions: when it feels good and when it feels bad. ACR North American Advances. Campbell, D. (1989). The romantic ethic and the spirit of modern consumerism. London, UK: Blackwell.
- Emerald, N.D. (2004).
- Consumerism, Nature, and The Human Spirit.
- USA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
- Acen, J.J., & Lee, J.A. (2002).
- The influence of culture on consumer impulsive buying behavior.
- Journal of consumer psychology, 12 (2), 163-176.
- Ilbourne, J. (2006).
- Jesus is a brand of jeans: How advertising affects the way we think and feel.
New Internationalist, 393, 10. McDaniel, J. (2000). Living from the center: Spirituality in an age of consumerism.St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press Sessions, G. (1995). Deep ecology for the 21st century (No.363.7 Se72d Ej.1). SHAMBHALA Simmel, G. (1903). The metropolis and mental life.
Which of the following is the best example of consumerism?
Purchasing a different vehicle to drive for each day of the week is an example of consumerism.
What is the literal meaning of consumerism?
Con·sum·er·ism kən-ˈsü-mə-ˌri-zəm. -mər-ˌi- : the theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically desirable. also : a preoccupation with and an inclination toward the buying of consumer goods.
What is consumerism vs consumption?
Consumption is the process of consuming goods. You buy a loaf of bread to consume it (to eat it). Consumerism is when you’re buying things that you don’t necessarily need for the sake of buying them. Consumption is a process that’s considered normal. It’s a technical term for describing the process of using up a resource.
You buy something and you use it. That’s all there is to it. Consumerism, on the other hand, is a cultural phenomenon and has a rather negative connotation as though it were some kind of unhealthy practice. At the very least, it’s considered irrational. It seems to me that shopaholics would probably be the best example of consumerism.
They’re wasting their time, money and other resources on things, sometimes useless things, that they can easily live without. answered Apr 22, 2018 at 1:54 Michael Rybkin Michael Rybkin 37.2k 27 gold badges 160 silver badges 304 bronze badges
What is direct to consumer marketing in healthcare?
Direct-to-consumer marketing in healthcare is a way for medical organizations, doctor-owned practices, pharmaceutical companies, wellness programs, and other care providers to advertise services, treatments, and products straight to patients. This type of healthcare marketing enables healthcare brands to connect with and build trust directly with their patient audiences.