Survival of any species depends on adaptation and evolution. In the changing healthcare environment, patients have evolved into consumers but nursing has yet to undergo a corollary evolution in order to survive in what is now a consumer-centric industry. This article examines how and why healthcare has become consumer-centric and what nursing can and must do to remain viable.
One of the world's unanswerable questions is, “How did life begin?” Religion and science have argued about it. Folklore has attempted to make a metaphor of it. Big Bang or Divine Intervention—the truth is, we just do not know. However life began, one thing is clear: It evolved. At least some species did. Many did not. The difference between those that did and those that didn't? The ability to adapt to a changing environment.
Such is the scenario playing out in healthcare and nursing today. Patients adapted to an increasingly cost-focused, information-based environment by evolving into consumers. The challenge nursing faces is adapting to the resultant consumer-centric world. The question: What will it take? The answer: Technology.
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