Patient. Client. Customer. Which term do you prefer?

Consider a hypothetical situation:  You have a swollen and painful ankle that has been ailing you, and you decide to visit your doctor to receive a diagnosis and treatment. On the day of your visit, you (as a patient) receive a diagnosis, health care services, and instructions on self care for your condition. You purchase a product – perhaps an ointment to reduce the swelling and pain, schedule a follow up visit and head home. According to Merriam-Webster, you are also a client – a person who pays a professional person or organization for services, and a customer – someone who buys goods or services from a business. You are simultaneously all three:  patient, client and customer.

But these three terms carry distinctly different implications. Would you rather be treated as a patient, a client, or a customer by your health care provider?

At AIMA of Nashua, you are a patient who is treated at all times with care, respect, and dignity. You will always have the same rights as a customer or client, but our focus is on providing clinical excellence and compassionate care – not sales.

Read on for more thoughts about this topic:

http://nexus.som.yale.edu/qn/content/would-you-rather-be-treated-patient-or-customer