Disruption in Healthcare – Eliminating Customer Pain Points

16 Jun Disruption in Healthcare – Eliminating Customer Pain Points

Author’s note: This is the first in a series of articles we wrote examining disruption in healthcare. It was prompted by a 2012 article from Fast Company that was recently reposted on LinkedIn:  http://www.fastcompany.com/1839009/7-ways-disrupt-your-industry.


A colleague recently relayed the story about how she once fired her entire HR department.  She told them they were eligible for rehire for three days, but only if they followed the hiring processes they had created.

None of them were rehired.

While this may sound extreme, the point is well taken: the division of labor and accountability results in the creation of turf zones — that we call silos in healthcare — impedes getting the job done. The silos the bureaucracy perpetuates create pain points which are drivers of disruption in healthcare.

One example is physician practices, where long-standing pain points include complex phone trees, difficulty in making appointments, duplicate forms at check-in, patient wait times and many others. Patient convenience is often secondary.

When private practices didn’t find a way to deal with these problems, telemedicine and corner pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS swooped in. They now take a huge percent of routine office visits and vaccine administration business from private medical practices. Not treating patients as customers — respecting their time and their needs — resulted in a loss of that business and it isn’t coming back.

This leaves busy primary care practices with sicker patients that take more time. It deprives what many physicians describe to me as a “breather” in an otherwise busy day.

What could they have done? How about adding a walk-in clinic component with accessible hours? How about open access schedules? How about vaccine clinics? These aren’t new ideas — many of our physician clients use them successfully.

Recently we had the opportunity to work with an emerging telemedicine company providing transaction advisory and business planning services. All I can say is the disruption has just begun.

Healthcare gives a lot of lip service to breaking down silos but has a long way to go. Think about hospitals? Market forces are driving the disruption and many in the industry are missing it.

Coming Soon: Point two “cut prices by 90%.” Believe it or not, it is happening…