Carolyn Thomas: Why the Harvard Business Review was wrong about patients

Carolyn Thomas writes a provocative and compelling article on the topic of patients as consumers. Highly packed with references to other articles, backed with data and written with the patient in mind, she makes a powerful case that patients are and need to be seen as consumers — contrary to the position held by a Harvard Business Review article. Read the full article here.

Heart Sisters

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters


Maybe it’s because I’m not a physician, a nurse or any other type of health care provider. Maybe it’s because I’m merely a dull-witted heart attack survivor. Maybe it’s because I spent virtually all of my 35+ year professional career in the field of public relations. But the reality is that I seem to think about health care more like a marketer than the average person might, and as such, I’ve been puzzled for some time about recent quality of care debates on whether patients should be considered “consumers” or not.

In one debate camp, you have doctors like Dr. Atul Gawande, whose Big Medarticle in The New Yorker caused apoplectic sputtering among some of his colleagues when it was published last August.  That’s because Dr. Gawande touted a national restaurant chain as a potential model of the kind of standardization…

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2 Comments on “Carolyn Thomas: Why the Harvard Business Review was wrong about patients”

  1. Carolyn Thomas says:

    Hi Doug – thanks so much for reposting my Heart Sisters blog article here. There’s certainly a wide range of opinion – pro and con – about this interesting issue, from patients and our caregivers alike.

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