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10 Ways Health Care Providers Can Stop Driving Patients Crazy

Perhaps waiting rooms should learn from fast-food joints. (Fotopedia.com)
Perhaps waiting rooms should learn from fast-food joints. (Fotopedia.com)

Okay, I took some liberties with that headline. The real title of Dan Munro's excellently trenchant blog post on Forbes.com is "10 Ways That Healthcare Can Engage Consumers."

But the more I read and cheered, the more his suggestions struck me as ways that hospitals and doctors can not so much engage us as make us feel at least a little less alienated and appalled by our health care system.

His policy point: "You can’t complain about a lack of consumer engagement in healthcare until you start treating us like something other than a means to your lucrative end."

And his suggestions range from kinder collection practices to nixing the erectile dysfunction ads on television. A couple of my favorites:

I’m not looking for a day-spa, feng-shui or zen-like experience with your waiting room. In fact, my real preference is not to sit or touch anything. Take a cue from In-And-Out Burger – we really do love that concept as it applies to healthcare waiting and exams.

And:

Do not use offshore call centers for anything. The combination of foreign accents, elderly or infirmed people (on a cocktail of medications) and complex medical terminology is enough to make us need even more meds and a double dose of behavioral health services as well. Please don’t tell me that was the intent.

This program aired on June 11, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth blog.

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