The Journey To The Consumer: You Mean A Doctor (Provider) Is A Consumer?
Well, hell yes, a DOCTOR is a consumer!
This week we started a 12-week journey with our partner in Philadelphia, Health Partners Plans. We are examining ways they can improve and cultivate stronger, better-connected provider relationships, specifically by changing how they and their subscribers perceive and value the provider relationship. We want to get them to view their provider partners as consumers and as individuals, i.e. humans. I know there seems to be some sarcasm in that statement – but it is true.
I love what HPP’s website states about their commitment to the provider:
We are committed to partnering with you to improve the health of our members and the communities where they live. We are equally committed to providing you with the support and service you need to achieve this goal.
It’s true, they really do believe it and are committed to making it happen!
What I Learned And What You Can Learn…
The truth is this: Doctors became doctors to care for people. They want to make a difference in the world and in the lives of their patients. Contrary to what some people believe, they are not all in it for the $$$!
I recently read an article in Readers Digest, What Your Doctor’s Really Think (But Won’t Say To Your Face. I really was blown away at some of the insights in this article. Here a few of the highlights:
- Don’t Ask Me To Lie – This absolutely blows my mind. We go see our provider and then do not want them to tell us the truth. Really?
- Your Missed Appointments Really Matter To Me – I learned this week from our partner that, at times, the no show rate for some of their provider offices is 40%. Huge number. So, I spent some time researching this issue and found an article, One Way To Solve The No-Show Problem. The article states that on average can reach as high as 50%. With the overall no show rate so high, why do we blame doctors for their double booking and long wait times? Just a question we need to consider.
- I’m Not Scared Of Your Google Search – I love this quote within the article:
“When patients come in with three inches of printouts, I know I’m going to have a good conversation. But they’ve also almost always terrified themselves beyond need. I wish they would e-mail or call me so I could put things in perspective. But in general, patients who have researched their condition tend to educate faster and take better control of their care.” —James C. Salwitz, MD
- I Could Use Empathy Too – This is really fascinating to me. I can find numerous articles that talk about Why doctor’s need to have or show empathy, but none on how we as consumers need to express empathy for doctors. It has to be a two-way street.
- Sometimes I Don’t Know What’s Wrong – I understand that providers went to school for many years to gain knowledge and skills, but it doesn’t mean they know everything. Give them a break. Let them be your partner on the journey!
What You And I Can Do…
I think this is pretty simple for not only us but also for the doctors. Partner, partner, partner! Find a doctor you can trust, build a relationship, and start on your journey together toward improved health and increased wellness.
We are very excited to be partnered with an organization that is working to build and cultivate a richer, empathy-driven relationship with their Provider partners.
Stay tuned for updates as we embark on this very exciting journey with them!