Patient Experience Compared to Airline Experience

I was digging through my archive of draft posts and I came upon this tweet that I’d saved for future posting from last year. The tweet is still as applicable today as it was last year. Stephanie Zaremba raises an interesting point of comparison between the patient experience and the airlines experience. Can we learn something from this comparison?

Stephanie is totally right that the airline experience is going down quickly. I hate flying more and more every time I fly. That’s partially because I’m tired of being away from the family, but partially because they keep changing things and very rarely is the change for the better. However, do we really have a choice? If we need to travel, we purchase the plane ticket and grin and bear.

Does this sound a lot like healthcare? Sadly I think it does. Especially the last part. We all need healthcare and so we mostly just grin and bear. We’re seeing a slight change in that mindset with new high deductible plans. However, the medical industry is so complex that most patients just give up on trying to figure it out.

As I’ve thought about this comparison, I’ve wondered what would really change the patient experience. What could really cause things to change? Sadly, I think there’s a desire by many (doctors leading this charge) for a different system where it is a beautiful patient experience, but I don’t see a pathway to that new reality from our current reality.

Reminds me of one of my favorite thought exercises. What if you created an EHR that was focused on the patient and patient care and not on billing and government regulations? That EHR would look totally different than what we have today. Maybe it would look like a Care Management System.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.