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Welcome to Influence and Production of this Week in Health it where we discussed the influence of technology on health with the people who are making it happen. My name is Bill Russell, recovering healthcare, c i o, and creator of this week in health. It. A set of podcasts and videos dedicated to training the next generation of health IT leaders.
This podcast is brought to you by Health lyrics, helping you to build agile, efficient, and effective health. It Let's talk visit health lyrics.com to schedule your free consultation. Today we explore the transformation of healthcare to consumer centricity. This was a huge topic at hims and it continues to be, uh, a wave's crashing over healthcare.
We're have this conversation with Jeff Gor, a partner with, uh, global. That helps companies with brand digital transformation and growth acceleration. Good morning, Jeff, and welcome to the show. Good morning, bill. Thank you for having me. Is that pretty close to what Profit does? Yeah, absolutely. We, uh, consider ourselves a, a management consultancy that helps our companies grow better through the things you mentioned through marketing and sales transformation, uh, brand strategy, development, experience, innovation.
And, uh, organization and culture changes and, uh, we do it through, across a lot of industries. I lead our healthcare practice and spend most of. Payers, providers, pharmaceutical companies, and a whole bunch of other folks that live in the healthcare ecosystem. Yeah. So you guys have been busy, so you and Scott Davis recently released a book, uh, making the Healthcare Shift, the Transformation to consumer Centricity.
Yeah. And I'll start with congratulations, but tell us about the process of writing the book, . Yes. Well, it's, uh, thank you. It's, it's been a two year journey. Uh, I, I think of it a little bit like running a marathon. If, if I ever run one, which will be, once I run a marathon, I will be a marathoner and there'd never be a re reason to ever run another one.
Um, Scott tells me I'll feel differently. Uh, it was 10 years since his last book though, and at the moment I'm feeling like this. Uh, I'm an author and. Once this, uh, no matter how many books I write, I'll still be an author. So I, I may, I may just stop while I'm here. But it's been a fun process. Um, I've learned a ton doing it.
I've been very lucky to have access to a lot of people who shared their insights and stories. And, um, you know, looking forward to sharing some of that, uh, with you, bill and with, uh, on this conversation here today. That's great. So the, I, I'll tell you what I was, uh, I, I'm impressed with how logical it's laid out, but just to give people a little perspective, um, 60 organizations, 250 executives.
Uh, you, it it's global in nature. So it's large hospital systems, payers, pharma, medical device, uh, digital health companies, us, Asia, and Europe. And, uh, so you have literally talked to people around the world about this whole, uh, this whole change that's happening. And I guess it's not just a, a US phenomenon, digital.
Is transforming people's expectations and changing the way they wanna interact with healthcare. Yeah, absolutely. I think there's both, you know, the, the case for or, or the for, for consumer centricity is, is, there's a couple ways of thinking about it. One is that, um, people's expectations are changing, right?
For all the reasons you articulated through their expectations with other categories and, and other ways of interacting. The benchmark for a good experience is no longer that other, how did this health system treat me versus another different health system. It's how they do everything else in their lives, Amazon, Uber, et cetera, et cetera.
So there's certainly the expectations change, right? At the same time, there's also the economic pressure, and this is not just the US phenomenon. This is true around the globe to get a handle on. Just skyrocketing healthcare costs. You can make the case, it's more acute here in the US and you look at our percentage, G N P, et cetera.
But healthcare budgets are on the, you know, budget, global budgets around the world are being strained by healthcare costs. So you've put that together with the, with with, with the consumer expectation, changing the cost pressure. And uh, in a lot of markets, certainly in the us all of a sudden, consumers high deductible plans.
Uh, have the financial incentive to, to seek out and to engage in their healthcare a little differently. So there's actually an important clarification that we, we make, you know, if I had to make it for some people they say, oh, consumerism is all around, uh, winning with consumers who increasingly have choice.
And that's true. And a lot of times, and a lot. Greater choice for, for the reasons we've talked about. However, as you know, particularly here in the US, there's also restricted formularies, restricted networks, restricted plan choices. So in some ways, in some markets, people, consumers have less choice, but that doesn't lessen the need for this transformation that we write about.
The transformation is both how to engage consumers when they're quote unquote, you know, shopping for, for healthcare. But it's also about engaging consumers as they behave in their own life and their own health, and helping systems like Intermountain Healthcare, which arguably have, you know, less competition a lot of other places.
Um, are, are, are at the forefront of helping consumers change their behavior so they act healthier and behave healthier and have healthier lives and then lower costs. Yeah. So, uh, so you, uh, you lay out the book pretty well, so it's the case for change in healthcare, which you just jumped into, and then there's five shifts and we're gonna go into the five shifts, but the case, so let, let's go into the case a little bit.
Yeah. Or because I, you know, as a C I O I had to make this case. And I think a lot of health IT professionals are trying to make this case, which is we have, uh, informed consumers, we have, uh, motivated consumers. So when you now have consumers that, uh, can get some pricing online, technically, I mean, there's some transparency that's starting to happen.
So they're, they're, they're informed, they're, they're motivated and. Even if they're in a walled garden, if you will, uh, in sort of tied to a provider or provider network, uh, they may change jobs and end up not being tied to that provider, or they may be on high deductible plan, and, and those kind of things are changing as well.
So you have informed and motivated consumers. You have new entrants, as you said. You have, you know, the, the, the, the, uh, you know, the, the care Anywhere kind of, uh, telehealth players. You have, uh, Oscar and the, uh, insurance. So you have a bunch of new entrants. Um, you have government pressure, which you talked about, uh, a little bit in terms of just the, the, I mean, if you watch all the stuff that's coming out from cma, Verma, and CMS and, um, and whatnot, you're seeing an awful lot of, uh, Push towards opening up the market to, to opening up healthcare, to market pressure.
And then I think there's a societal pressure that maybe you didn't touch on, which is just, you know, if you're in healthcare and you go to a a party, invariably you hear horror stories. You hear this, oh God, I got seven bills I got, I, you know, and there's a societal pressure that, hey, you know what? My life's changed in
So many different areas. Mm-hmm. , when is healthcare gonna catch up? Uh, does that capture sort of the, the case for it? Yeah, I, I, I think absolutely. I mean, you know, one of the things that we, I, I've, I've surmised is that making the intellectual case for, for change that consumers are increasingly in charge and should be in charge is pretty easy.
Right. You know, e every health system I've walked into and, and probably you as well. Says something like patience first. Right. Patience. Right. So, so the intellectual case for, for the need to empower consumers as we prefer to call them or, or patients is, is pretty clear. The, the emotional understanding of the need to transform organizations is, you know, or the intellectual case for need for transform organizations is relatively, I think where it gets harder and, and.
A, both financial investments, the right, and b, the cultural change required to, to, to, to, to, to make the transformation. So it's a little bit of moving organizations from, you know, knowing to knowing which is an intellectual, to believing and feeling and, and that that's harder, right? That we always get the question.
Okay, how do.
Oh, oh, oh. We are newsflash. No, newsflash. There's no easy 32nd answer, . No, no. And, and, and we are. 'cause I mean, one of the reasons I was drawn to your, to your book, uh, which originated with some research that you guys have done, uh, as you say, a couple years ago, and, uh, I was drawn to it because you actually do get into the, okay.
We make the case case and a lot of consulting sort of ends there, and you get into some very pragmatic ways that, uh, these health systems have gotten in here. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna march through the five shifts. Okay. Probably read a little excerpt from your, your material, and then just jump into some questions.
So, great. The, the first shift, uh, from tactical fixes to an experience strategy. And I'll just do it in your words. So, while healthcare organizations often start enhancing consumer experiences in one-off initiatives, and that is so true, uh, they should move towards optimizing entire healthcare journey as a strategic priority.
Doing so requires establishing a vision. For the organization, hiring the right leaders to take charge and creating an experiential plan to change and win the consum win with the consumers. So give us an, I I mean that's, there's an awful lot there. Give us an idea of what this, this first shift looks like from tactical to, to a holistic experience strategy.
Yeah, so I, I can't help but thinking in three. So let me give you three thoughts in your in your question. I'm a, I'm a, I'm a management consultant after all. Um, the, the first one is cx and you, you referenced it, is going from a to-do item to something the business organizes around, right? So if the idea that the definition of customer experience or patient experiences, let's have friendly people that greet people as they enter the hospital and, and help them find their way.
That's a good thing to have on a to-do item. But that's not, that doesn't fundamentally change the experience, right? I'd say the same thing about initiatives to reduce, um, ni night noise in the med surge unit, or an initiative to reduce wait time when people call the call center with a billing question.
All those are good things to do, but in and of themself do not galvanize transformation. When it becomes truly around, like the organi, not something on the to-do list, but the overall strategy for it. Let's just take health systems as as the most, you know, present example is, um, It becomes the organizing idea for everything we're trying to do.
So one of the stories we can talk more about, you know, Piedmont Healthcare and, and how they did that. That's kind of 0.1 though, going from a to-do item to some of the business organizes around. The second thing, and this is related, is going from a touchpoint orientation to a relationship orientation.
When I measure. Hcaps that speaks to a single night stay in the hospital, and did I have a good experience? Now that's more than one touchpoint. That's several touchpoint. But versus an N P S type of measure of how do I, what's the relationship we a health system has with people in our communities? That's a very different way of thinking about just from a metric standpoint.
How to think about patient experience holistically and a patient experience strategy holistically. And it takes you to doing different things. And then the third idea is what I call going from fixing what's broken to a brand experience, right? Fixing what broken mentality is, where are we pissing people off, and how do we stop pissing them off?
And again, that's a good thing. Versus saying, what's the unique way that we, our organization, want to live and be perceived in the marketplace and be different, and let's synchronize what we're telling people they, what we're telling them about why they should come here. Versus what we're actually delivering.
And let's make the promise that we make through our marketing communications match the promise that we deliver. Right? And make sure it's, it's, it's, it's unique and differentiating and relevant. So those are, those are the three ways that we think about making this shift, uh, from tactical to more holistic.
That's really interesting. Um, yeah, I, I like the trend. I like the distinction between, you know, fixing the problems and touchpoints. Yeah. 'cause we, in, in conversations, we talk an awful lot about touchpoints. You know, here's, here's where people experience us, but they, they experience this more. Uh, if you're gonna change the culture, it's more than just about fixing all these little things.
I mean, you could fix up all the things that are wrong with the house, but still the foundation's broken. Yeah. You don't, you just don't galvanize or, or mobilize the organization to change the way they act. And I guess that's what you're, that's what you're after here is really changing the entire healthcare system.
Be thinking about experience holistically versus just fixing the things that are broken. Is that, does that capture it? Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, exactly right. And to your point, one of the things we write about is, is this need to jumpstart change right? To, to, to, to, in order to galvanize. And, and there's a few examples we use.
I mean, for me, the most classic and it's, you know, now a years old, what Geiser did a few years ago with their proven experience, money back guarantee. And, and what we hear from our interviews with, with some of the leaders there is that, you know, when, when, when Dr. Feinberg first put this out there, there was a lot of grumbling about the new guy and is this crazy and how are we really gonna do this?
And how would this work? Um, but in a few years of, and you know, only 500 thou like put air quotes, only 500,000 in payments made. In, in refunds. Well, $500,000 could have easily been justified by the quality of the PR they got. That publicity alone would've made it a good investment, but far more important than the PR was how it changed, because all of a sudden they could track service line by service line, location by location who's giving refunds, and it signaled as much internally that they were serious about this and serious about, you know, Putting the consumer at the center and, and really being consumer centric and winning with them.
And that, you know, that that tactical program, that experience strategy became a galvanizing force for change. Yeah. Are there, are there other health systems? I mean, you, you share a lot of stories. Yeah. Intermountain, Novant, Piedmont, others. But are there other stories around that, uh, around this, this movement?
Yeah. You know, I think that, you know, those, those are my favorites and my go-tos, but almost every client we've worked with, you know, transformational change, you know, usually starts with, I, it, it sometimes starts bottoms up. Sometimes it starts tops down. But even when it starts top down with a. It's gotta have a series of quick wins and, and, and small moves to start to prove and, uh, prove it's not flavor of the month.
Um, we've seen it with, you know, with pharma client recently has done it. We've seen it with payers as well. Uh, it's really a pretty consistent pattern. The question is within, in any, in any company, there's always a million initiatives going on. How do you create something so compelling that it actually starts to get people to act and think differently?
Um, And that's why I go to that example. Yeah. At uh, at our health system, we, uh, we actually, you know, we, we did the, uh, journey mapping around a specific, around orthopedics, and then we did, um, We identified, and I think you had some of this in, in the articles, uh, you know, know me, care for me, ease my way.
And to be honest with you, we had two others. I don't even remember what they are now, but the, uh, but essentially what it was, was a, a, an attempt to get the organization to start thinking about, um, You know, how do we get to know the patient more? How do we, uh, make sure that we're not asking the same question over and over again?
How do we do our core competency and do it well in terms of caring for them, but then how do we do it at a price point that is, uh, palatable to give them a bill that is. Understandable and the ease my way thing is where we end up spending a lot of time because there's an awful lot of friction within healthcare.
Mm-hmm. , and that, that was really our starting point. Would you recommend a different starting point or how, how, where would, where would we start?
It's a good question. So I think it depends on who's driving the transformation, right? When it, when it's C e O led. It very often starts with this, this shift one, right? Setting this vision for what does consumer centricity look like for us and how does it fit our overall business strategy? And then it cascades to some, uh, more tactical fixes when, and we'll talk about the shifts later, three, and, and thrive if, if it's marketing, you know, led by a marketing function or an experience function.
It can start with, you know, a new base of insights and understanding of consumers. It could start with a approach to innovation. It can start in different places when it starts more grassroots, and for grassroots leaders that aren't leading big functions and aren't necessarily. Tangentially part of this, you know, part of the C-suite or, or, or close to the C-suite.
It almost always starts with some of these smaller types of pieces. Um, and, and sometimes it starts with, you know, stop pissing 'em off as I, as I, I, I didn't mean to dismiss that at all, but it starts with some of those things and just, you know, getting to know folks a little bit better and, and starts to find, make sure that everyone else around you knows more about what they're dealing with.
All right, well, let's move to the second shift you have, uh, from fragmented care to connected Ecosystems. And again, I'll just, uh, I'll introduce it with a snippet here. So, although payers, providers, and pharma companies are finding new ways to work together, the healthcare journey is still fragmented for most patients, causing frustration, inefficiencies in high levels of dissatisfaction, operating in a healthcare ecosystem rather than in a standalone entity.
The only way those in the healthcare value chain will survive and thrive in the future. Yeah. So, so this is about orchestration. Give us, uh, you know, what, what, what is this shift about? Yeah, yeah. So again, a few ideas, you know, but the, but the story we, we sometimes like to tell and it's, you know, it's, it's getting older and older, but for some folks still remember it.
Well, you know, when Apple launched the iPhone, They didn't just say, we're a manufacturer, we're manufacturing it in shipping, and good luck. They actually picked a single carrier in at and t and formed a close partnership with them. Now, I'm sure there's all kinds of financial reasons they did that, but it also allowed them to work very, very closely with the at and t team to make sure that as people were signing up and getting on board and learning how to use this back in the took charge of the whole journey.
And they integrate themselves in the whole journey rather than saying, we, um, uh, uh, You know, you know, rather than saying, we manufacture the phone, call somebody else. Right? Yeah. We're, we're, we're gonna go, we're gonna go live with 20 manufacturers, and now all of a sudden you have all sorts of signup problems and issues across the board.
That's right. So, so hopefully the analogy starts to become, you know, reasonably obvious to, uh, to. To healthcare where, where very often you, you know, consumers all the time I called the insurance company, they said one thing. I called the hospital, they said, call the medical group. I called the medical group.
They said, call the hospitalist group. And right, and there's, and there's that, that leads to that fragmentation. That's just from a billing standpoint, right? Then of course there's the specialist telling you one thing and there's other specialists telling you something else. So the, the opportunity in this shift is, is around owning and connecting that entire journey, even if it hasn't historically been in the purview of.
Uh, uh, you know, of, of, of, you know, of payment, for example, of, of a particular provider or, you know, making, you know, there's smooth transfer information between specialists. So in the case of where value-based care creates a financial incentive, it's in theory easy, right? It's never easy, but it's easier because all of a sudden the financial incentives start to get aligned.
But even where that hasn't happened, If an era where consumers have choice and are looking for that and, and, and winning and competing for them is making sure the experience is not frustrating. There's opportunity for, for, for all systems, regardless of their reimbursement strategies to, to think differently about this.
So this is around a couple things. You know, one, instead of owning your piece, owning the entire journey, right? This is around thinking about everything's done. We invent things here and that's what we do and we're exclusively in-house to external collaboration, partnership. And really empowering teams to think about instead of just owning discrete responsibilities, having the metrics in place to create empowered problem solvers within organizations so they're not passing, you know, patients or consumers off.
Yeah, and this is, this is challenge. We just recently had somebody on the show and we were talking about, um, uh, social determinants of health and the partnerships that are now the, the new whole new set of partnerships for healthcare systems that have to sort of pop up in terms of, yeah. Uh, being able to coordinate care and responses to, uh, those kinds of things.
So this is really, uh, I'm, I'm gonna put on my IT hat. This is really challenging 'cause now you're trying to orchestrate things, uh, across, uh, multiple systems, multiple data silos, multiple, those kind of things. Is, is there a way of doing this? Says, you know, Hey, we're gonna, we're gonna orchestrate this, and then we're going to deal with the, uh, complexity.
At, at a later time. Yeah, it's a good question and I'm sure I could learn more from, from you, bill than, than you can learn from me. But just a couple of thoughts. One is where we've dealt with this with clients where essentially the IT stack and the system's inability to integrate and the investments required to make those things happen can kill things that are otherwise, you know, pretty.
Light, light types of investments. We worked with a pharmaceutical company recently that was, um, uh, in the oncology space trying to create some of these, you know, to, to a non-IT person, reasonably easy solutions. How do we create tracking apps and how do we make sure that we allow them data to be shared between the, the patient that enters it and the, and the, and our company and the pharma and the, and the oncologist.
But of course, as you know, that's, that's way easier to draw up than it is to actually architect from a standpoint. The answer there, it was going to, there's a couple answers, but in this case it was finding partnerships outside of, uh, finding digital health partnerships to white label some of these things and starting to create these things outside the ordinary stack going around the ordinary stack and systems to do that.
Now, that may be, uh, That may be, um, uh, I may be stepping on a third rail with, with your listeners and with the CIOs out there. I don't know. Um, but I think, you know, in the end, I think it comes down to finding creative ways around some of those challenges. Because if it, if it takes three years to put that in place, it'll be outta date.
No. And that's what you're saying is what we're seeing more and more within the. Uh, c i o ranks, which is, uh, uh, or, you know, pulling different things together and sort of making sure that they can communicate on a standard set of APIs and those kind of things so that we're, we're, we're building more platforms and a lot less application silos so that we can be responsive.
Um, this is a fascinating conversation for, for me. Um, anyway, um, yeah, I the, uh, the third shift, uh, from population centric to person centric. So this is, this is really, this is where it really gets interesting for me. So, healthcare organizations must move away from creating products, services, and experiences for groups of similar consumers.
Such, there's those who have the same condition or those who fall into the same demographic. Health organizations must begin to create product services and experiences for consumers based on their individual needs. Now this, uh, I mean the technology left here gets really interesting, but, uh, but I wanna talk about what this means.
So you, you wanna move, you wanna move from populations all the way down to individuals. So there's, there's gotta be a couple steps there to, to get from there to there. I mean, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And, and you know, I don't know of any scenario or any manufacturer in almost any business.
Places that create the, you know, with, with common platforms, you know, create the appearance of customization. I don't know that that's necessary here. That's not necessarily what we're talking about. We are talking about a couple things. One, you know, our payers who talk about, oh, we have segments, we have large group, we have large group commercial, we have national accounts, we have, you know, local groups.
We have Medicare, we have the. Exchange. All organizing consumers buy essentially the products or the funding mechanisms in that case, right? In a health system, it's typically by disease state, right? Or, or occasionally by insurance source is the way they think about different groups of different people now at a product service.
And so this those, to your point, we, I think about this two steps this way. The first step is how do you start to create products and services and experiences? That are not lowest common denominator. And that usually requires identifying a group of segments or personas. Is, is sometimes a more envogue term these days?
And what is that? 5, 6, 7 personas picking the two or three to, to customize around and maybe create a couple of different flavors and varieties. Um, you know, this idea, sometimes people say, well, wait a minute, we have to serve everybody. We're a community hospital. How can we pick two of our seven personas and focus?
It's a fair question, right? None of this is to suggest we're firing or not treat firing our patients or not treating anybody that comes in. But I would contend to you this when Gatorade, this is gonna sound like a far fetched analogy here. When Gatorade set their design target for designing their products and their services and their experiences as competitive athletes, they built a strong business.
When they watered it down to become a lifestyle brand, their business went down dramatically when they went back to focusing on a competitive athlete or three to 5% of their volume. , all of a sudden it became relevant and interesting and appealing for a whole lot of other people, right? So again, rather than picking lowest common denominator of what works for everybody and creating generic experiences, how do we pick two or three personas as as bullseye?
And maybe there's two different bullseye. So we're not trying to do just one, but pick two. Focus, create something for them when we make the big scale investments in product service experiences, that's the first bit, right? The second bit, which is obviously, you know, what's getting all the, the all airspace and media today is how do you then really, really, you know, using AI algorithms personalized, but then in the end, it's probably using those product services solution platforms and, and, and, and, and, and groupings that have been created using segments and personas.
To customize the delivery, customize the communication, customize the content. So it's a little bit of a two step. First, get from big populations to personas and pick the right ones. And then from there, that's where you make the big scale investments in products and services, but then when you get to actual delivery of content, et cetera, that's where you know it can help create.
Yeah, so a lot of health systems have created personas. I know Banner has, uh, that providence, uh, uh, one of the things Aaron Martin did when he first came in was, uh, created this persona. Well, there was a couple personas created, but the one he really honed in on was, uh, expected mothers. Because they make so many of the decisions around healthcare.
And the thought process was if we can, uh, meet their needs throughout that entire process, then we can build out from there. 'cause they're gonna give birth, the birth of the child. And then you can start to figure out how you're gonna care for that child. Uh, a child potentially born with a chronic condition, a child that's born healthy, um, and you sort of.
Move, I guess move along that, that path, uh, if you will, uh, the creation of personas is this, uh, you know, is this, uh, I mean, what does that process look like for a health system? Yeah, there's, there's different flavors. I mean, it can be as easy as, you know, picking a group and saying, you know, let's design everything around expected mothers your example.
And it doesn't need a lot of, it doesn't need a lot of, uh, uh, you know, custom research. It just, it. Focus on, on, on, on a particular group rather than trying to be all things to all people. Where we've done, you know, more rigorous, formal, quantitative segmentations with, with clients, uh, it, it has a lot, it can have additional benefit.
One, you can go beyond what I call demographic characteristics, expectant mothers, right? Because one thing we know is that. Expected Mothers engage with healthcare differently. They have different attitudes about their own health, their own wellness, what they can afford, their, their belief that, that either they're, they're all gonna die and therefore there's no point versus a belief that they can change their future by, by acting and engaging.
There's all kinds of different ways to think about expected mothers differently, so you know when the resources are available and the wherewithal is, is there. To more you formal quantitative segments that are multidimensional in nature that take into account not only life stage, for example, you know, expect Mother, which often has a, a narrower demographic, um, component to it.
But, but Multidimensions thinking about people's attitudes. Their needs, their psychographics, their orientation toward their own ability to take care of themselves, their families, et cetera. Um, and then you can do, then the, so the next more, so my first pace I talked about kind of pick one, right? Then there's, you know, let's use a survey to understand consumers in our marketplace and break them into groups.
And then I think the third most robust is let's actually, and the payers I've seen do this more than providers so far. Is, let's actually use our database and let's type personas onto our database. So we actually can say of our members, we know 17% are in this persona with 80% accuracy. You know, 22% are in this persona, based on that accuracy.
So we not only can use it as a construct to say, how do we design products and spirits is based on their attitudes and needs, we actually can use to understand our own quote unquote book of business. Yeah, that's, uh, so that's fascinating. You, you've talked a lot about data here. And so data collection becomes one of the, um, becoming a data organization, an organization that knows how to collect the right information that has the right, uh, guardrails around privacy and, and obviously, but also a mechanism for, uh, creating value from that, from that data.
It becomes, uh, becomes really, really important. Um, so again, what, what does that look like? How do you create that sort of data ecosystem, if you will? Yeah. And, and again, something that, you know, you and your listeners will have plenty of experiences that are relevant as well, but, but there's an idea that we, we put forth, we think, and we're starting to work more and more with clients on, it's around a, a data strategy.
And, and, and the core of that is a customer data value, what we call a customer data value exchange, right? So I one, and it's easy to collect lots of data and then figure out what to do with it. A more strategic approach is to understand based on the customer journey, based on your holistic experience strategy.
Over time, what is the most critical data that you can use in the next 12 months, and what's the critical data you can see yourself beginning to use and call it the next three years? Right? That's to uncover the data needs. Then from there, what is it gonna take to get the consumer to share that with us?
Right? What is that data value exchange that says, I know you're a little concerned about privacy. I know you're a little skeptical of any organization that goes, you know, gets bigger and bigger and bigger, and you're no longer local hospital, you're a. And how do you create the proposition? So classic example, that doesn't work for everybody, but I think it illustrates the point.
There's a a, an online platform many of your listeners may know called patients like me based in Cambridge, that has a the most transparent customer data values exchange strategy I've seen. They essentially say, I'm paraphrasing. Give us your data. We will sell it to life science companies, but in doing so, we will help create the next generation of cures so your next of kin won't have to live with the horrible diseases.
You will. If we can help the pharma companies create cures, your next of kin won't have this. Right? There's, there's summary. Headline of it is, is Data for Good, right? And it's literally at least last I checked literally right on their website. Give us your data, here's how we'll use it and here's what you get for it.
Right? So that doesn't work. That doesn't work for everybody, right? Um, but what, what is the proposition? What is the proposition based on those data needs that you want? How do you make clear to consumers why if give, if sharing the data will make their life easier? It's not just ability for you to use it to manipulate them , but you're gonna use it to help make their lives better.
And that's really the, the, the, the, the consumer centric view of thinking about data strategy. And then of course all the hard work behind the scenes that, you know, the IT community has to. But I mean, culturally, if, if you can, well, first of all, they, they have to set up the mechanisms for collecting the data in, in, in the proper ways.
But, um, but one of the things that I think creates the cynicism amongst, uh, users is when I give you my data and it's not used, it's not used effectively. Yeah. That's where you talk about ecosystem as opposed to just sort of a. We have a data department over here that says analytics and whatnot. You're talking about something where the, the data sort of mashes around and starts to inform future decisions and future experiences and, and customized experiences.
And personal experiences. Yeah. No, no, exactly. And, and just as an example, I mean, we just did focus groups very recently for a, for a payer client, and we hear it from the same people and the same, not focus groups, actually just, uh, qualitative interviews with, with folks one-on-one. Uh, and we hear from the same people that'll be saying, I don't trust you.
I don't wanna give you my data, uh, in the same one side of their mouth. The other side of their mouth will say, you already have my data. You know me. Why can't you show me that? You know me. If you know who I am, and I've called the call center three times, why won't I call next time you pretend like you've never talked to me.
Yeah, so there's still those, those privacy concerns are still there. My, I've seen, I've sensed over 10 years of doing this type of research, there's more and more willingness to share data. But there's also, at the same time, that comes with an expectation to your point, that it's gonna be used to, to, to personalize things.
Even as simple as answering the phone and saying, you know, hello Mrs. Jones. I see you called us before. Yeah. Which, which is actually from a technology standpoint, a pretty, pretty easy lift. Uh, so there your fourth shift. From incremental improvements to pervasive innovation. And, uh, I, I guess at this point we're really starting to hit on all cylinders.
It's, uh, here's what you have to say. So instead of settling for small and time consuming improvements to already establish systems and processes, organizations should reimagine innovation. To be consist, they need to consistently adopt both an innovative and a minimally viable product mindset. Using Yeah, a portfolio of innovative approaches and spark changes.
And, but one of the, one of the sentences section, the healthcare industry continues to struggle with innovation because it's, It has a crippling aversion to risk, which is understandable. I mean, we manage right risk that is very acute. Um, the difficulties of proving a return on investment for long-term projects and a lack of structure for rewarding successful innovation.
So, um, just those three things. Yeah. So we, we have to, this is a, this is a big cultural move. Uh, where have you seen this, where, where, how have people been able to sort of break out? 'cause some, some are starting to really break out in this area. Yeah. Yeah. So, so three ways, but let me just just give you an example just to really illustrate the point.
I think a little bit before I, I share the three ways with you. We, we have a, a client that is a, in this case it's a pharmaceutical company. I think this is most acute in, in, in pharma, but, but, but also elsewhere, but where people have been giving permission to text message them. They've literally been saying, yes, here's my number.
Please text message me for two years, and I can't get alignment between. Regulatory affairs, legal affairs, medical affairs, it, and all the other pieces of how they're gonna do that. Right? And of course, it's born out of the right reasons, right? Adverse events are important. They wanna make sure if they, if they hear about them, they can treat them responsibly for their own, for the good of the patient, for their own kind of shareholders, et cetera, for all those reasons.
But these are people that have said, yes, it's okay. Please text me. Right? So the diagnosis I'd offer here, The historic culture of clinical innovation, and let me just again, use pharma as an example, though I think it certainly is relevant with, with, you know, the health systems as well. The, the, the, the orientation is we are gonna test something in a very small scale, and then we're gonna test it again, and then we'll test it with animal and we'll test it with small numbers of humans and bigger number of humans, bigger numbers of humans, and then we'll make sure legal affairs and regulatory affairs and legal affairs, they're all through this process to make sure that when we bring a product to market, It's safe, it can get through the regulatory structure, et cetera.
So that culture of of of, of making sure things are safe, that is there for all the right reasons when it comes to clinical innovation, unfortunately that culture often bleeds over what I'll call experience innovation, right? So we can't do anything, we can't put out a app or a, an online set of tools until we've tested it and tested again and run it seven ways to Sunday.
And, uh, That, that becomes a real barrier to, to innovation because then by the time you come up with it, right, it's no longer state of the art because you've tested it for five years. Right. Versus the Silicon Valley approach of let's put the most VA minimally viable product out there. The m. You know what, we'll roll out a new version in four weeks and another version after that, and Facebook every two weeks.
It's a bad example these days, but any kind of online app, they, every two weeks, they're gonna send you an update.
So that's hard to do, but we came across, you know, here in, in Chicago, uh, what's now Advocate Aurora Health with their example of, uh, you know, the, the, the, the mammography program where 1.0 version, it was call and be seen today, right? Which hit on a major pain point around, you know, the anxiety that comes with, you know, needing to get a, a mammogram.
It evolved. The 2.0 version became call scene, get results today, but it took an extra six months to align up all the operations behind the ability to go from call and be seen today, which took some doing right, but call scene Get Results. Today was another version, so they didn't wait till they can get the results.
They started with Call and seen today and I think, you know, six months or so later, call and be seen and get results today. And then the version is to continue to scale to other procedures, et cetera, versus saying, We think same day appointments are a good idea, but let's take three years to make sure we can do it across all of our points of care, all of our service lines, all of our geographies, and, um, versus let's start small scale and roll it out from there.
So, so this M V P approach is, I think one of those, and it's a little bit, just a different mindset. It just says, what's the minimally viable thing we need to put out there with all the important caveats that, again, we're talking, if we're talking about an app, You know, we're, we're not, we don't need to test it through three phases of clinical trials, right?
We can, we can go a little faster. So it kind of ones this MVP approach. Second, we see companies using, um, internal incubators and trying to set aside and create the new culture and to, to, to change that culture and bring in different talents and skillsets and give them a, a pot of money and let them go to work.
And then, and third, there's just the, the accelerator organizations that are not necessarily tied or, or loosely tied. Right. So the Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute is a, is a great example. They, they provide a safe space and some, uh, coaching and support, and they have a very competitive process for promising startups to get into the program.
They come in for six months, they give them access to. Uh, you know, they're, they're member hospitals so they can accelerate their innovation. Right. You know, they're, the, the former innovation director told me, you know, look, these, these, these startups, these, these digital startups, it can take them 12 months to get an agreement to even run a test with a health system.
They don't have the cash and the burn rate to survive that long. Right? So, so the hospital systems are, are, are stifling innovation by some way, by being so conservative and making it so hard for startups for a lot of the innovations coming from to partner with them. Sometimes those accelerator programs can be a way to, to shortcut that.
Yep. Yeah. And we had, Darren Doan was talking about his accelerator a couple weeks ago and uh, yeah, and I think there's more and more of those creates a different set of challenges. But, um, you know, there's, I wanna put on my IT hat here for a second. 'cause this is one of the areas where the IT staff,
here's the challenge. You know, yeah. You could stand things up pretty quickly. Like we did telehealth for, we did telestroke program and people were getting all bogged down. And what we ended up doing was just doing, uh, you know, essentially a, a video link between, uh, the, the, the place with the specialists and the remote location and they were able to share a medical record.
'cause we already had shareable medical. And then it was just a matter of getting the telemetry data. Well, you know, we just use off the shelf kind of stuff. We stood something up very quickly before we tried to, and that, that happens in it all the time. But when you're talking about the consumer and the consumer experiences, yeah, there's an expectation of, oh, well we'll just use FaceTime.
Oh, well, we'll just use, you know, we'll just text back and forth that the challenge, 'cause the regulatory environment which we live in, we have to capture all that stuff. And so when a doctor and a patient are texting each other, that's in apples. Walled garden and we don't have access to that data. But then when the lawsuit comes that says, Hey, we told you about this.
Um, we, we have no record of it. So there, there are some challenging, little challenging things there that, that we, uh, that does actually cause us, cause us to, I don't know, uh, slow down a little bit and think about it, just because our environment's not quite Silicon Valley esque in that. Yeah. Um, it is, it's highly regulated.
Yeah, no, no doubt. Challenges exist. Um, I like the M V P approach. Have, have you seen, so when you talk about, uh, creating an internal startup, You, uh, you referenced the accelerators, but, um, have you ever seen anybody just, uh, have, have they taken groups of people and just said, you know, they're part of the, the organization, but they push 'em over and they say, act like skunkworks, act like a startup and start innovating, but they're actually employees of the health system.
Have you seen that model? You know, um, I, I, one that comes to mind is his pharma, Boehringer Ingelheim, you know, created kind of B I X, right? And I don't know what their legal employment status was, but essentially it might even separate entity. It was, it was the best, it was trying to create the best of both worlds.
It was a startup in terms of culture and expectations and motivations. Um, but they brought in both and, and some of the legacy members of, of BI went over to bring the expertise and the, and the, and, and the knowhow, um, together with new employees. And again, I don't know whether they became legally new employees or, or just kind of parked in a separate.
The employee experience of, of being separate and, and, you know, into the side. So we're talking a lot, a lot about consumer and patient experiences. Um, but uh, there, there's also the providers aren't happy. Um, are, are you looking at that side or are you just mostly focused on the creating experiences around this consumer?
'cause I mean, that's the, that's the. The really, the core hypothesis here is that healthcare is changing around the consumer. Yeah. And what do you tell organizations that get caught up in the, but we have to create these experiences for our providers as well. . Yeah, so it's, it's a great question. The, the, the focus of our research was primarily on how organizations are transforming because of, you know, the, the empowerment of the consumer.
And, and part of that answer is always, you know, and, and the most influential groups are, are very often the physician groups. And bringing them on board is critical to make the consumer happy, but also to make them happy and achieve the success they need. Carl Armato, who's the C e O of Novant Health said, and, and I'm paraphrasing, essentially, you know, we used to get caught up in provider experience versus patient experience.
Now we just call it the human experience and we need to stop thinking about them separately. We need to think about them collectively as a group. Uh, Dennis Murphy at IU Health didn't quite put it in those words, but as we did the work with, with him, uh, the, some of the strategy work around their transformation, He wanted to think of those almost equal and audiences because 20,000 employees around the state of Indiana.
And making them happy was certainly crucial. There's research and it's hard to say what's, what's, you know, what's causation, what's correlation. But there is some anecdotal evidence I've seen is that there's a correlation between staff satisfaction and and patient satisfaction. Right. Well, which is it? Is it that happier patients leads, makes the staff's jobs easier or is it the happier staff makes.
Makes for more engaged, friendly delivery of of care, so that makes the patient happier. I don't know, but it's pretty intuitive to me that you.
Yeah, we are, we're, we're on the home drive here. It's, I I'm sorry, I'm smiling. I just, yeah, I'm, I'm, I'm one class away from finishing my M B A. I just finished my statistics class, so listening to you talk is , is just washing all that stuff over me again. So, um, shift, shift number five from insights as a function to ins to an insights operating system.
Yeah. And, uh, establishing insights as a function is critical to gathering intelligence on the consumer, but it's not enough. Interesting statement. In and of itself, healthcare organizations need to create a culture of consumer obsession, where everyone in the organization keeps the consumer front and center at all times.
Organizations can build this by creating an insights operating system. So tell us what an insights operating system is and, and how we get there. Yeah, so my, my colleague Christine Brand Jones, who leads our insight practice, gave me this analogy, so I'm not gonna take credit for it, but she said, an insights operating system is when you have the quarterback and the receiver working seamlessly together and in a passing game, right?
So what's short of that is, You know, you, you had said, you know, it's not enough just to have insights and intelligence. It's not enough to have a great quarterback. Someone's gotta catch the ball. Right. So the organization needs to be able to al Al also to generate insight and informa useful information about how to meet consumer needs when they make business decisions and they need an organization that knows how to use the information and integrated into business decision making.
One large payer that we spent a lot of time with has Anor, probably has a 25 person staff in market research. Not marketing, just in market research, and this is several years ago, so it might be a different number by now. Generating all kinds of reports, doing all kinds of research. Yet when we interviewed their internal customers, they said they're always issuing these reports.
I don't know how to find them, what they mean, and even what it means for me. So the insights operating system is around, is the seamless integration. You know, I, I would venture a guess, and again, I spend most of my time in healthcare, but insights on the large technology companies that are so good at being consumer centric.
Now, you know, Amazon for example, I don't know, do they have a formal market research department? Or, or is it just that, you know, does Nordstrom probab maybe right? Maybe somewhere in corporate, but it's really everyone's job to understand kind of consumer needs and how to meet them. So, so that's, that's the principle that we talk about.
So the question is, you know, how do you do that? How do you take that, that philosophical construct, and how do you make it happen inside a company? So we've seen a few things. Um, one is we've seen, you know, Aetna, Dave Edelman talks about creating an account management structure. We took his market market research team that was organized by functional expertise, you know, statistics versus survey design versus, you know, that type of thing and reorganized it around business units.
So, Each business unit has a partner from that team that's assigned to get to know the business, understand the needs, and bring back information. And then in the context it's useful to that business unit. So that's kind of 0.1, reorganized on an account management structure on internal customers. Number two, uh, uh, Eli Lilly and Company has a made the decision.
Rather than hiring deep, deep, deep experts in the methods of market research, they're gonna make that role and insights a rotation. Seasoned executives from, not only from marketing, but from sales and other leadership functions, rotate through what's a traditional market research function. Spend a year and a half there because A, they bring business insight and perspective into the role.
And two, when they leave it and go back out to their other roles, they also have an understanding of how to think about it. So again, trying to. Create that seamless flow of information beyond just doing additional studies. Are, are a couple of the, the, the ways we've come across how organizations are, are, are starting to think a little bit differently and, and create that insights operating system.
So really, I mean it's, by the way, that last example's really fascinating to me, and I'm gonna, I'm gonna think about that for a while. But the, um, We, we get caught up a lot of times in this conversation of who owns it and who runs it. And uh, and I always say, you know, it just, it, because you're talking about a, a cultural change that has to permeate almost every part of the organization.
It needs to come from the c e o and they need to own it. But with that being said, you, you can't have it over here doing their thing and marketing over here doing their thing and strategy, doing their thing, and operations, doing their thing. I mean, right. The, the, those four need to be so knitted, so closely together that, that it almost operates as one person's brain.
You know, they, they know what each other's doing and they're, they're integrating data collection methods. They're integrating, uh, insights and they're delivering them back. Uh, but they're also educating people on, on how to, how to use it. And they're empowering people to create new solutions around it. I mean, what you're saying is like, this is the, the final exam, this is the capstone for an organization becoming a co, a consumer organization.
And it's where all parts of the organization are sort of intertwined and it, it just continues to, to build upon itself until it creates these insights for the organization. That's well said. No, no question there. I I feel like I, I'm leading the witness. Sorry about that. Uh, no, I mean, that's, that's exciting.
This is exciting stuff. So, uh, hey, I, you know, I actually, we're at the, we're at the end here, so I, I really appreciate this. This is a, this is a great book. I will, uh, you know, I'll, I'll throw up a picture of it on the, uh, Book making. He.
Coming on here and, uh, and sharing these insights. This has been great. I appreciate the opportunity and, uh, enjoyed the dialogue very much. Well, thanks. Well, this show is a production of this Weekend Health It. For more great content, you can check out the website at www dot this week, health it.com or the YouTube channel at this weekend.
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