Self-Care

Design for disruption

Streamline processes or anticipate the disruption that is going to happen and design for it?

I was at a digital health event last night and one of the companies presented the new process that would be enabled by their technology. It was better but only modestly better. 

What it didn’t consider is an engaged healthcare consumer, patient or member. People everywhere in the world are trying to self diagnosis themselves with online information and studies. That trend is going to continue with the number of free apps, wearables and tests that are engaging people in their own health.

As an industry, we can’t put the genie back in the bottle. We need to anticipate what people are likely going to do and design for it.

Disruptive tech companies study how people use their technology and hook them by making their solution even easier to use. We need to take that mindset into process design and design for how people actually want to use the healthcare system.

Dated gatekeeper models are not going to work in the era of an engaged consumer, patient and member. People will circumvent processes that are long and difficult. It’s the work around that we all do in corporate America. So why would we expect anything different in a healthcare service?

2020 Reform

Americans have a huge opportunity to get healthcare right in 2020.

The current system is broken. Access is limited by the lack of coverage and/or the cost of healthcare.

Medicare for All would make healthcare more accessible to all American even though access has yet to be defined in terms of who and what.

Getting who and what right is the first opportunity. If the benefits are too rich, the system will become unsustainable. Reportedly, Canada is spending 60% of all tax dollars on healthcare and have reached their maximum budget. They too are trying to address the rising cost with the triple aim.

The Republican concerns are real if other measures are not taken to curb the cost of healthcare.

Expanding access helps reduce the cost/person if people use the system to better manage their health and thereby reduce the need for expensive medical intervention.

For the theory to work:

1/ Self-Care: Americans need to take a more active role in managing their health and wellbeing.

2/ Primary Care: PCPs need to engage as health coaches rather than just as gatekeepers to specialists and pharmaceuticals.

3/ Coverage: Insurers need to cover self-care apps + devices.

The opportunity in 2020 is to present a new system that focuses on health and cares for the sick when needed.

Post: Self-Care

What do you do afterwork to decompress and recharge your batteries?

It was a ice-breaker question that members of a business group needed to answer as part of their introduction. Almost everyone in the group started with something along the lines of “well I know that I should be exercising” but what I really do is …. guess what they said.

As some of you know, I’ve been trying to get more people working out and living a healthier lifestyle [aka: Hello Workout]. My introduction was last so there was no bias in the responses for what I do or anything that I said.

After hearing everyone’s “confessions”, I almost felt bad introducing myself and sharing a bit about my lifestyle. If you’re wondering, I am a strong believer in regular maintenance whether it’s my car or my body. Both work better when they are cared for properly.

Inspiring, nudging and telling people to workout might not be the right approach. It makes people feel ashamed and it makes people initiating the conversation feel bad. It’s awkward all the way around.

Many in the business group talked about caring for others. There is no shame in caring for others. So maybe the better question is “How do you care for yourself?“.

Words are powerful. Simple changes can make a big impact.

Shame steers people into a life of silence, inactivity, lying and hiding.

~ Harriet Lerner