As a Service Industry Healthcare is Different

Healthcare services are different from other types of service industries. When the service a consumer is seeking involves an individual’s performance (i.e. physician, financial planner, lawyer) as opposed to an organizational service (auto repair, restaurant, entertainment, hotel) it tends to be more difficult for the producer of the service to modify the service in a manner most optimal for the consumer. This is primarily due to the availability and access of the individual service. Historically, providers in health care have set office hours around the provider’s schedule which is influenced by numerous factors (hospital rounds, surgery schedule, personal needs/preferences) making minimal changes that accommodate the consumer (extended early or late office hours one or two times a week; weekend hours once a month). Other key factors contributing to the differences with healthcare delivering a consumer centered service are determining what type of service the consumer needs, predictability of when the service will be needed and who is paying for the cost of the service.

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