Moving from Healthcare Consumer to Guest

A recent research report from Salesforce  speaks volumes...

As millennials enter the work force they will change fundamentally how everyone engages healthcare as well as how we treat sharing information from provider, to payer, to employer.

Innovation and entrepreneurs will surface providing new solutions and opportunities unifying splintered healthcare applications and concepts to form more universally complete platforms and opportunities to share information.   We have yet to see a consumer platform that establishes and maintains the right mix of consumer integrity, adoption and meaningful healthcare information.   In our search to identify what "Quality" and "Value" are to all stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem, we need to find tools to engage the consumer but do so in a way that provides more than just anecdotal information. 

Most applications on the market today are skewed and approach the problem from the wrong vantage point because they fail to understand what "quality" and "value" are first and foremost.    Healthgrades is perceived as a largely ineffective directory with most believing that you have to throw out the high and low marks, leaving the consumer with average likert based survey information that is rather useless.    They have simply become a "yellow pages directory."   Yelp, is feverishly attempting to traverse markets from reviewing your local breakfast diner to finding a doctor, surgeon, cardiologist etc... but the review information is even worse and they are a square peg trying to go into a round hole.   There is something not quite right about finding a Neurosurgeon for your child on the same platform you use to find a good cup of Joe.

I call out Healthgrades and Yelp because they are missing the obvious, difficult yet needed task of defining "quality" and "value."   We have to provide value to the consumer and do this in parallel with making data meaningful to healthcare providers and payers.  Any other approach is doing it wrong and will fail.   There in lies the secret sauce....

Some believe that CMS and CAHPS, HCAHPS, PQRS are going to be what helps us understand healthcare but the government's approach to healthcare quality is equally flawed as it lacks understanding the consumer.   These benchmarks are largely derived to control reimbursements for government services: medicare and medicaid and are universally believed by both payers and providers to be flawed in how they are solicited, quantified and made actionable.  As we move from Patients to Guests, the government will not solve how we need to be treated when paying for and receiving healthcare.   Can they help, perhaps?   But, my blink factor tells me that entrepreneurial innovation around consumer communication and healthcare service delivery will move us forward faster.

17 Aug 2018

By Todd Fisher