Despite the call for greater consumer participation in healthcare under reform, consumer engagement remains a problem in this country, Hospitals and Health Networks Daily reported Tuesday. In spite of financial incentives and health and wellness initiatives, Americans continue to remain complacent in their decisions regarding healthcare services. Reasons for such poor consumer engagement are numerous, including a lack of accountability for a patient's own health and well-being, as well as the American lifestyle that promotes unhealthy fast food, cubicle settings and lack of exercise, leading to complacency and stress.
H&HN Daily writer Ian Morrison suggests that complexity and confusion are also a major part of consumer engagement issues. He advises that hospitals keep it simple with their products and services because patients are reluctant to engage in their health with confusing options. Citing an instance when his son waited for five hours for an urgent care dermatological exam at an academic medical center, Morrison asked why healthcare can't be more like Open Table, the online platform that books restaurant reservations. Article