Most people think this way about healthcare: “I know I will need it at some point… when I do, that’s when I will figure out how it works.” Most of us think there is no reason to bother paying attention or learning about the healthcare system until we need it. This attitude is supported by the industry itself –which is fundamentally bad for business.
What if car manufacturers didn’t try to reach you until you walked onto the car lot to buy a car? Or Apple and Android didn’t tell you their latest features until you needed a new phone? Until you are hungry and aimlessly driving around, McDonalds finally tells you about their Big Mac. It doesn’t make sense. So why does it make sense for the healthcare industry to engage patients once they have a problem?
It doesn’t. People are potential patients regardless of whether they are healthy or sick
I disagree with the attitude that healthcare needs to think less like a business –it actually needs to think more like one. Unless you are selling very specific pharmaceutical products (we all know who you are, Little Blue Pill), there is very little focus on the healthy “potential” patients of the world. And that’s what the industry is missing. The healthcare industry has made great strides to improve patients’ experience once they are in the system, but there is very little education targeted to all those people who will “need it at some point.”
Yes, healthcare has made major improvements—what the industry needs to do now is t spread the word about those improvements. Just like any business that wants to edge out its competition, it needs to reach out before the healthcare cycle starts and engage early and often with their potential customer base.