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19 Feb Healthcare’s Most Valuable Commodity Is Information

Post Written By Guest Blogger, MyIdealPtExp

“The most valuable commodity I know of is information.”

In the movie Wall Street, Gordon Gekko made it known to Bud Fox that he didn’t need more information, he needed new information.

It made me think of its applicability to healthcare.

There is not a day that goes by in which I do not get a request or an email inquiry asking me to review, join, and share my patient story on another site. Many times the value proposition that follows talks about a new platform that allows patients to connect, to share their stories, and to be given a voice.

Holistically it sounds like a great product that I would support.

Then I ask the difficult question:

HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY? HOW ARE YOU SUPPORTING THE PATIENT MOVEMENT? HOW ARE YOU SUPPORTING THE PARADIGM SHIFT BETWEEN PATIENTS AND HEALTHCARE INSIDERS? HOW ARE YOU LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD AND SUPPORTING PATIENT EMPOWERMENT AND AUTONOMY? HOW DO YOU DEMONSTRATE THAT PATIENTS ARE EXPERTS?

Often times I am met with crickets. The silence is not because they do not know the answer, but usually because they are shocked that I see through their marketing glitter. I see that they are connecting, collecting, and storing the patient information only to use it for a financial gain on the back end.

A gain that is not shared with patients.

There is nothing wrong with that model. I just ask that people be honest and transparent. Inform people as patients that their “insights” will be used to gain a financial incentive somewhere else in the market-place.

THE ABOVE SCENARIO IS WHY I LAUNCHED THE MY IDEAL PATIENT EXPERIENCE AGENCY.

I do not want to collect patient stories and insights and re-purpose the information to be the “thought leader or expert” to help healthcare design a better experience.

I want to highlight that “people as patients” have the expertise needed to actually define and help address the challenges we are facing in healthcare. This group holds the answers. Their experiences, both good and bad, are the “new sets of information” healthcare insiders need to recognize and use to drive real, sustainable transformation.

This network of patient expertise also holds the additional tools healthcare needs to leverage.

Patients are more than the sum of their symptoms, illness and treatments. Many patients in their daily lives are people with skills in engineering, coding, programming, education, finance, marketing, mathematics, and design.

THE POWER OF THEIR BACKGROUNDS AS PEOPLE + EXPERIENCES AS PATIENTS = IDENTIFYING THE RIGHT OPPORTUNITIES TO IMPROVE HEALTHCARE.

Healthcare redesign.

The vision is for an experience that is multi-channel, customized, accessible, price transparent, always on, and easily traveled. An experience that is seamless, simplified, and crosses the boundaries of my life as a person, a patient, a family member, and a community member.

For decades healthcare has held information on costs, quality, access, clinical guidelines, peer reviewed medical literature, and billing behind paywalls and as “proprietary business information.” Yet even with all of that information in their silos, healthcare insiders haven’t been able to optimize the design of healthcare.

So why do we believe adding “new information” from patients is going to be the difference?

It’s not.

What will disrupt the healthcare paradigm is allowing patients to become equals to their medically-degreed peers.

The reality is multidisciplinary teamwork (with cross functional skills) is sorely lacking in healthcare as compared to most other industries. We need to see patients as the experts they are in the experience of what works and where there is opportunity to improve. We need to trust them to be the consultants, thought leaders, and partners needed in healthcare to win and survive in the future.

You want to disrupt the cost curve in healthcare? You want to lower your readmission rates? You want to invest in the right technology? You want to improve patient satisfaction scores? You want to improve medication adherence? You want to improve days cash on hand? You want to decrease employee attrition? You want to improve imaging appropriateness?

Don’t call more people with the same information. Don’t leverage the same partners with “new information” gleaned from patients. When you continue partnering with “those” who will send you information, you will continue to replicate and scale mediocrity.

I prefer to go directly to the source and get the information. Working with “patients as consultants” is what allowed me to co-design a service line delivering a cancer diagnosis and treatment options in less than 4 days. (A gain in market share and patient satisfaction, reduction in costs due to imaging, lab tests, reporting, and leakage)

Healthcare insiders realize that time is money. Especially in today’s uncertain world of healthcare.

You can spend your time and money on incumbents that haven’t delivered the results you need. I prefer to spend my time with the trusted advisers and experts needed to deliver real results in health and care.

Patients.

In return, we co-create to redesign systems that build transparency and simplify the transitions. (The 4T’s: Time-Trust-Transparency-Transitions)

Collaborate with those that can deliver both sides of the equation.

Professional backgrounds + experiences as patients = right opportunities to improve healthcare.

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