4 Comments on Are Your Consumers Customers or Patients?

  1. Thank you Neil for another valuable post.
    This topic was the heart of a conversation we had together and you truly triggered my thoughts around whether pharmacies have customers or patients.
    I believe you have solved a dillemma that has surrounded my thoughts and that is that they have the ability to shift from being a customer to being a patient.
    This is very helpful in establishing the mindset of pharmacies so that they know the difference in what a customer needs and what a patient needs.
    Usually, a patient is in the pharmacy for a health issue that needs to be attended to, whereas the same patient can be a customer looking for toothpaste or a bar of soap, but yet again… where can the line be drawn… the customer may need special toothpaste for his gums or have a skin irritation and in need of a low irritant soap.
    So it is vital for the pharmacy team to ask the right questions and understand the underlying need of the customer/patient so they can differentiate between the needs of each.

  2. Consumer or patient? We see them as consumers at the cash register. Customers see themselves as consumers when they are at the cash register and try to get a discount or ask to get the prices matched with another chemist .. Or supermarket prices. But when it comes to a dispensing error.. They (customers) see themselves as patients.

    Consequently, we should call them special kind of customers.

  3. That was a nicely written analysis, which I agree with for the most part.

    Following this logic, wouldn’t yoga practitioners, and personal trainers at the gym, be justified in calling their clients patients? They can arguably justify that they provide a health service… There is ample scientific evidence that these activities do function as effective therapy for certain conditions. In some cases the results can be as good as, or better than, prescription medications (e.g., anti-depressants).

  4. I would agree that yoga practitioners and personal trainers influence human health.
    I am not aware if they have a code of conduct, a professional leadership organisation or a registration process with AHPRA.
    If full records are kept that can be integrated with other medical records, then I would accept that the people participating in this service are patients.
    If not all of the above, then you are dealing with customers.

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