In 1998, Patch Adams debuted in theaters across the country. Based on a true story, the movie featured Robin Williams in the role of unorthodox physician and founder of the Gesundheit! Institute, Hunter “Patch” Adams. Almost 20 years later, a speech near the end of the movie still resonates, albeit for a different reason, when Adams says: “You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.”
In the face of growing healthcare consumerism, it’s not just the clinical experiences that count. Every interaction in a consumer’s healthcare journey—from the first “doctors near me” Google search and call for an appointment to post-visit follow-up and bill payment—need to meet (or surpass) expectations. The question is: How can you understand what each patient expects?