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Patient Experience Versus Buying Hierarchy

Patient Experience=Functionality + Reliability + Convenience

According to the Buying Hierarchy model elaborated by the Windermere Associates, most customers follow these following phases.This has been cited in the Cited in Christensen, C.M (1997) in his book-The Innovators Dilemma.Functionality- First and foremost the customers are looking for the functionality first. If no body else can provide that service or product, customers will return to you.

Reliability- If 2 products or services meets the functionality, then comes the reliability. Will the customers trust you? If 2 products and customers are equally reliable and trust then comes the third phase.

Convenience- Followed by the functionality, reliability comes the convenience, which means ease of accessibility and proximity.

Last but not the least is the Price. Price is the last thing on the customers mind.

How to memorize the Buying Hierarchy?
F Functionality
R Reliability
C Convenience
P Price

I believe that if you want to memorize anything association with other commonly use statements is important.

That’s how I remember this with help Vital Checklist-F.R.C.P.

Patient Experience-The F.R.C.P. Approach

How to win patients?

FRCP (in Britain) is abbreviation for Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.

Wait a minute; before we apply this to the Patient Experience, lets elaborate the F.R.C.P. Buying Hierarchy as per Dr. Gurowitz article published in The CEO Refresher-Positioning Products and Services Accurately.



Functionality Relevance Applicability  Fit
Reliability Integrity Trust Sustainability
Convenience Proximity Ease of use Accessibility
Price (Value Based) Cost of Manufacture Economies of scale Supply & Demand

Let’s use the FRCP model for the Patient Experience!

As per Dr.Gurowitz, Fit has 2 components-intellectual compatibility and chemistry.

When applied to the patient experience-the service given by the caregiver should make sense to the patient and their chemistry should match for the continuation of the services. I am working as the primary care provider and it is the first few minutes, which matters the most with the patient. We have 2 ears and 1 tongue so we need to listen to the patient so that we can form a good rapport with the patient. Yes, other bells and whistles matters-like your office staff, cleanliness in the office, answering of the phone services but the most important in functionality is the “fit”.

If the patient has a choice between the 2 caregivers and both “fit” the needs of the patients, he/she will start looking for the caregivers who are more reliable and on whom they can trust, true to oneself (integrity) and will be available at the time of need (sustainable).

Patients are not only looking for the right fit but they want a trustworthy caregiver who is available at the time of need.

If 2 caregivers meet all these dimensions, patients start fishing for the third element- Convenience. Patients will travel to see you and not worried about the proximity of your office practice. Basically, if you are good to great physician, gas prices will not matter and patient will come from far off places to seek those second opinions 

Last element of the cost is of hardly any concern to the patient as all the patients have same co-pay. However, if you have concierge medicine, patients are willing to pay more if you cent percent on functionality, reliability and convenience. 

If we want to have excellent patient experience, we need to take a page out from these business theories and apply those principles when we evaluate and examine these patients.

Dr.Harpreet Singh MD, FACP is a Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Vital Checklist and The text, graphics, images, videos and other material contained in the videos and iCrush Website ("Content") are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Dr. Harpreet Singh - Chief Editor
Dr. Singh MD FACP is truly a “Doctor in no hurry.” He has pledged loyalty to the noble cause of educating and empowering patients to understand their disease and fight back. He believes in giving the patients control of their health, and enabling them to understand the “Why” of their problem. He has gained wide popularity by his courteous and empathetic approach towards patient care and envisions a complete hassle free patient experience. He uses easy to remember checklists, which chunk the important facts about the disease in a day-to-day acronym. The ultimate goal is to make the patient aware of the risks and benefits of their actions, enabling them to be ready when calamity strikes, or to avoid it altogether.

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