Lower costs and better outcomes are byproducts, not goals in and of themselves. I believe the future of health care will be defined by identifying the root causes of high costs and poor outcomes.
In the startup community, it is in our DNA to intimately understand and articulate the problem we’re solving and clearly deliver our value proposition. Pivoting is constantly required until you hit the issue you are trying to solve for right between the eyes and successfully hand your end users the solution they’ve been desperate for.
As I was scoping a project in the past, my boss said, “You can deliver that quickly, affordably, or with high quality. You’ll have to ask the client to choose two because it’s just not possible to deliver on all three.” In health care, we have the quadruple aim: patient experience, affordability, outcomes, and clinician experience.
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I think this is analogous to what individuals’ value in health care. When we try to be all things to all people, we usually fail in delivering on any of the four values with excellence.
If we asked individual patients what they valued the most, perhaps we’d be surprised that we don’t all share the same values. Prior to starting ClinicianNexus, I had the resources to choose quality outcomes and experience because my employer covered the costs. As a startup founder, I need affordable care and I’d personally choose outcomes over my experience. We all define our values differently, and in health care it’s no different. But we absolutely must go through the effort of defining the values that are important to us and our organizations and determine how we can live them every day.
I am biased on this of course, but I believe it’s clinical education. Our system sees it as a one-and-done event, rather than an ongoing, evolutionary process. In health care delivery, new research and care delivery methods change regularly. This is an industry constantly in reinvention. The amount of information that a clinician needs to learn and then remember is infinite and directly contributes to patient outcomes. Not being inclusive of this reality when we discuss quality, experience, outcomes, and especially clinician burnout can lead to a seemingly small “thorn” in the foot to be at risk of infection or worse amputation. We can’t have that in health care. We need to continually invest in clinician education in new and innovative ways that meet their needs.
It’s fascinating to me that ClinicianNexus’s “blind spots” are really just our team’s “blind spots” magnified. We are humans trying to run a company. With that comes some unavoidable mistakes and biases that come into play. Change is hard and comfort is easy. Complaining feels more satisfying than doing something. We try to fill this blind spot with experienced and intelligent advisors and ask for feedback constantly.
As a leader of a company, it’s my job to have a bird’s eye view of our company and the ecosystem we serve. In health care, the ecosystem is too large for any one individual health care leader to have a handle on everything impacting the industry. That’s why having an organization like Medical Alley and its members who are dedicated to advocating for all of us and connecting the dots in and outside of organizations is so critical. It is so important in reducing duplicate efforts (and cost) and forging exciting new partnerships. We are all stronger when we come together like this.
Patience with myself. Like so many start-up founders, I am ambitious, and I have a clear vision that I’m absolutely committed to. But with that comes impatience, frustration and a desire to realize the vision I have right here and now. It takes time for visions to become a reality in health care, and I need to remind myself to focus on the end vision, no matter the length of time it takes to get there.
Welcome to Medical Alley Association’s For The Record interview series, brought to you by West Monroe Partners. Join us as we sit down with innovators in the delivery, payment, technology, and policy industries, giving us – and in turn, you – access to diverse perspectives on how healthcare is changing and what lies ahead.
Medical Alley is the global epicenter of health innovation and care; For The Record, is meant to share insights and spark discussion. If you have a perspective on the future of healthcare, feel free to share it by reaching out to Frank Jaskulke, Vice President of Intelligence at firstname.lastname@example.org