Healthcare is changing in ways that demand innovation. In the face of diverse consumer needs and demographics, and disruptive new players entering the healthcare arena, we need agile leaders and providers who can challenge their existing paradigms and redesign their models of care. The three key areas in which we need to innovate to gain and retain consumers in today’s shifting landscape are:
1.) One Size Does Not Fit All Approach: We must design systems, processes, and cultures that enable us to respond to changing consumers’ needs and unique competition. In healthcare today, three primary segments, each with different needs, are emerging. Segment one is dominated by almost 79.4 million young adult Millennials who are the on-demand generation that grew up in the Uber, Amazon, Netflix, and Apple worlds and are used to having everything delivered at the push of a button. They expect the same in healthcare: on-demand service that is available when they most need it and where it’s easiest for them to access: iTriage, telehealth, home and office care, convenient fast clinics, and mobile clinics. The second segment is the middle-aged 65.7 million Gen Xers who need maintenance and acute care. They are dealing with surgeries, cancer, and knee replacements. The third segment is the aging 75.5 million Baby Boomers who want more personalized home-based care than the generations before them. They don’t want to end up in the hospital or nursing home; they’d rather receive the care at home. Of the three, the current models of care are best equipped to serve the middle segment. We are lagging behind, however, in responding effectively to the shifting needs of Millennials and Baby Boomers. Innovators and retailers such as Google, Amazon, CVS, Walmart, and Apple are now entering the healthcare space to meet these demands in ways that the traditional healthcare system has not. As healthcare leaders, we must accept that one size does not fit all and become agile and innovative by expanding our definition of healthcare consumers, while keeping the best of what we’ve always done, in order to continue to thrive.
2.) Hassle Factor Index ®: To serve and capture these emerging segments, we must consider and address the hassle factors that get in the way of meeting consumers’ needs. We must measure and remove: 1) the friction points our consumers experience when they interact with us even before they become our patients; 2) the hassles and obstacles our providers face as they strive to best serve patients, leading to burnout. Our Hassle Factor Index® assessment can help leaders and organizations measure and remove hassle factors that impede the innovation process.
3.) Creating an “ALL IN” Physician Engagement Culture: Creating a culture of engagement by co-creating with providers, consumers, and teams exponentially increases the likelihood of success in our efforts to innovate. When we partner with clinicians in the innovation process and enable clinicians and administrative leaders to co-create the systems and cultures needed, we benefit from creative solutions that combine the expertise and best thinking of both, and remove the “us vs. them” paradigms that can bring even the greatest of change efforts to a standstill. Change is here, and the disrupters are lining up to fill in when healthcare organizations don’t adapt to meet changing needs. We can lead the way by examining our current paradigms, cultures, and practices; innovating new approaches; and being agile in the face of change. In short, we need to disrupt ourselves before others do it for us.