At ABCS RCM, we are aware of some new realities that surround digital consumerism and healthcare. One of these new realities is that if patients want to visit a healthcare specialist, they usually need to go through a primary care physician. This is the new model for “access” in the US healthcare system. Access is often defined as the “availability” of medical care, which usually is related to affordability. However, some new technologies are altering this model. Advances in digital technology have changed expectations, with people wanting direct access to healthcare products and information.
Here are three of these new trends:
 Changing the definition of OTC (over the counter):
Due to the internet, there is better access to information (but not always the best information). Think of this as the WebMD effect. It is now easier for people to self-monitor their physical condition and research any experienced symptoms. These new digital methods are changing how information was distributed in the past, as well as pushing it to a larger audience.
 Removing location:
New advances in communication technology are slowly erasing barriers that previously separated health professionals and patients. Medical treatments using telehealth is shrinking the problem of distance. So the very way healthcare practitioners manage and treat disease is changing due to these new technologies.
 The future:
How can you integrate these new approaches into our current model of healthcare? What are the political and social ramifications? Will insurance providers pay for these services? The world of healthcare is constantly evolving. One of the few things that is constant – is the principle of change.
Consumerism, Modern Healthcare
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