What year do you think it will be when retail clinics overtake traditional physician offices as the point of care for the majority of patients seeking primary care?
It has much to do with the experience. Tom Peters: “Retail … is performance art.”
I don’t know if this will be successful, but I’m not betting against it. The biggest danger this presents for traditional healthcare is a downward gaze it likely will caste upon this program. Healthcare delivery is changing, much more so than just that represented by healthcare reform.
This is cool. At the risk of trying to find a connection in everything I come across, I offer this up as a narrative on innovation and the business cycle. Create, destroy. Create, destroy. It’s called progress.
Don’t ask me why, exactly, but I was looking up Fraggle Rock on Wikipedia and came across the reason Doozers (the little green guys in the hard hats) are constantly building. Turns out the they need to do it to survive, and therefore the Fraggles eating their construction is not a menace but a lifesaver (which also accounts for the line in the first episode of the series – which I just happened to watch – where one Doozer says to another “architecture is meant to be enjoyed”). I especially liked this story:
This symbiosis becomes integral to an episode where Mokey calls upon the Fraggles to stop eating the Doozers’ constructions – because they spend so much time making them. Fraggle Rock quickly fills with constructions and the Doozers have no space left in which to build. After running out of space, the Doozers finally decide to move on to a new area because the Fraggles won’t eat their constructions, and there is even a tragic scene with a mother explaining to her daughter that Doozers must build or they will die, and so they must find a new place to live where they can build and hopefully find Fraggles who will eat their constructions. Overhearing this, Mokey realizes that she has inadvertently disrupted a vital symbiotic relationship through ignorant good intentions. As a result, Mokey frantically rescinds her prohibition and encourages the Fraggles to gorge on the structures — just in time to persuade the Doozers to stay.
Jim Henson had some very interesting ideas.
The brand as media is an intriguing thought. Traditional media was often needed to keep an eye on brands and now that the “brand” has risen in importance and internet proliferation allows for consumer monitoring, brand-produced media channels have serious appeal. When no media outlet is covering your day-to-day stories, whether out of disinterest or budget cuts, why not create a brand channel?
The technology that provides the ability to have scalable (often more productive) 1:1 interactions (or 1:interested several) rather than a 1:many is here and proliferating. Facebook, Foursquare, YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, direct mail, etc, etc, etc. That trend continues. If a health system could produce interesting content (more difficult than it sounds), it could find a new way to reach the people it wants to reach.
The trust factor is the disruptor. What’s interesting is that many individuals already trust the physicians and hospitals they utilize at a time when national statistics indicate they maybe shouldn’t. Local is the secret; news stories about brands usually provide reasons to not trust companies, but the exposés are generally on a national level, rather than a local level. (An exception.) Healthcare brands are local.
The transparency ethic also is in play here. Though some hospitals have taken a courageous step in being transparent with their data, most are very selective with what they choose to showcase. Forced transparency changes that; when one payer (the government) accounts for 50 percent of healthcare purchases it seems only a matter of time before they want to see what, exactly, they are paying for (everything). It has already started with Hospital Compare, expect the amount of data reported to increase. If you drilled into why hospitals object to publicly reported data, what you will find (I think) is distress over the inability to provide context (“yes, our complication rate is higher than our competitor but here is why…”)
What does a brand’s own media channel provide? Context.
Nudge author Richard Thaler offers some nudge improvements to healthcare reform.
January’s calendar completely slipped me. So I’m posting this a few days late in honorarium. Maybe do it Monday? Boycott a meeting (some) day.
Frog Design asks: “So, what if we could create a similar check-in and reward system (i.e. a game) to amplify other kinds of messaging – particularly health support messaging?”
Robert Fabricant writes:
This is not an idle question: the entire health and wellness industry has been chasing this dream for years. I can’t tell you how many meetings I have had with healthcare executives on this topic. In each case they assure me that they know exactly what to “tell” people to improve their health – but the problem is that no one is listening! In the meantime chronic issues like diabetes are ballooning among young people. Engagement with health support programs in areas like weight loss are abysmal – even when “consumers” are given real financial rewards for sticking with the program.
So what would a “Foursquare for health” look like and how could it help you this year?
Fabricant says it takes four elements:
- Build on existing behavior
- Feedback at all times
- Make it fun
- Don’t be the expert
There are a number of people trying to create a health improvement social tool. It’s only a matter of time before someone does. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc. have built incredible social tools in no time at all.
I think the killer feature, though, will be integration into existing platforms. Time and again the latest and greatest social platform proves it can build a worthy user group. But I wonder about platform fatigue–how many tools are people willing to check-in to? Maybe it’s limitless–but talk to any healthcare provider and they’ll tell you how difficult it is to get people to change their behavior. Given the traditional difficulty of getting people to focus on their health, does an additional check-in prevent widespread adoption?
A new attitude for healthcare people to put patients where they belong: at the center of the healthcare world. You don’t need to wait for permission. You shouldn’t wait for a directive. You, right now, can awesomize the healthcare experience.