The Case For Referring To “Patients” As “Clients”
Here’s a thought experiment for you – imagine how people would respond if healthcare practitioners stopped calling people “patients.” According to a compelling opinion column, the use of the word “patient” is categorically flawed as it implies a type of submissive powerlessness that robs people of their agency.
Healthcare is a sensitive business. People want to feel valued, respected, and cared for – especially when dealing with complicated medical situations. Healthcare personnel – from doctors to clinicians to pharmacists – would benefit from treating people like clients or partners rather than assuming that everyone they deal with is a problem to be solved. Taking on a partnership role is a more integrated, collaborative way of approaching the business of health – and it is simply more faithful to the world we live in today. After all, today’s customers are empowered with endless online information that gives them a more determined sense of involvement and responsibility for their health care. People want to be treated like educated co-conspirators, not like test subjects. An active mindset also promotes a healthy attitude toward health. If a person is involved in their own healing, they are more likely to set goals with their doctor and remain accountable for their lifestyle choices.
A client-driven approach means taking the time to have conversations with people. The more engaged they feel, the more likely they will benefit from your services – particularly when part of the path to wellness you are providing involves prevention. As obvious as this approach might seem, it is still a relatively novel idea in the healthcare sector. Prioritizing people is rewarding to all involved – clinicians with different specialties, people receiving care, and their families and communities.
If you’re in the business of healthcare, consider how your messaging and marketing reflect your relationship with your customers and your long-term vision for wellness. ASTRALCOM is here to support you through content marketing services and more – check out our portfolio of work with healthcare clients.