Let’s consider a scenario; I have an intense Diet Coke emergency for the sake of reasoning. I wake up with a brutal need to have Diet Coke at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday. I’m dressing up and heading out to discover the closest 24-hour convenience store where I can fulfill my damnable desire by charging a little more for Diet Coke than I would at a supermarket.
For a few factors linked to the price of comfort, the absence of more accessible alternatives at 2 AM, the elevated price of residential property, etc., I charge a little more. The point is that while I’m going to pay more for my Diet Coke, I’m not going to pay A LOT more, and I have the choice to just wait until evening or drive to somewhere selling soft drinks for less.
Now change the basic conditions and compare with the chain of occurrences that might follow my awakening on a Wednesday at 2 AM with horrifying abdominal pain. In that situation, I want to be carried to the closest hospital for fear of appendicitis. I don’t understand if the nearest hospital has an agreement with my insurance carrier, and I don’t know how much my therapy will cost, but I’m experiencing too much pain and anxiety.
I’m obviously a Diet Coke user in the insignificant first instance. I’ve got some alternatives.
I’m in a big mess in the non-trivial second instance, and we almost all understand why. I can’t shop, I don’t know what I’m going to pay, I don’t have a valuation idea and I’m working in a vacuum of data. Nearly nothing in this condition of healthcare describes me as a customer.
And yet, many healthcare professionals remain to argue that nurses are genuinely users of a commodity, the quality and importance of which they have very little or no understanding.
This is an oversimplified evaluation of one element of the marketplace in healthcare.