Reinvent Your Company as You Serve the New Healthcare
By Ibby Smith Stofer
If you listen you will hear the rumble and roar of changing health care. These changes include the Accountable Care Act, price transparency, ACOs, IDNs, affiliations, mergers, electronic patient records, telemedicine, medical homes, and more. The world of health care is changing at record speed.
Historically, we have practiced disease management, not health care. However, today’s medical providers are different. There are developing plans to keep us out of the hospitals, and consumers are participating in health care decisions. With a click of a button, consumers have access to information that was not previously available to even medical professionals.
Businesses must keep up with the evolving health care models. Keeping pace with health care’s changing landscape requires strategy refinement. For companies that have traditionally focused their sales calls directly with the physician, there are some added concerns. Today, medical conditions, diseases, and symptoms are among the top Internet searches and no longer used by only medical professionals. Pharmaceutical companies encourage consumers to use the net to identify diseases based on their own symptoms and to then discuss the specific drug to the doctor. Who is actually practicing medicine in those situations? Has the general population become proficient in diagnosis?
Suppliers of healthcare need to be ahead of the transitions in their customers’ world. Rethinking methods of serving customers takes strong leadership, risk taking, and a true commitment. As with most change, the place to begin is with the customer. Understanding the patient’s needs is key to planning how your company will make adjustments.
An example is the airlines, who have several hub cities; there are various routes that go in and out of that hub. The airline must prepare to serve each destination with the right plane, crew, and service levels. Similarly, the hospital is a hub with several routes both in and out that must be served with the right technology, personnel, and service level.
The hub might be in a hospital, IDN, ACO, or even a primary care physician. In all cases, customers are changing and how they are served must change as well. Companies can talk with their customers and determine what the customer’s needs will be and how those needs will be met. Remember, the future must align with the needs of the customer and not the company’s personal desires.