Why Can’t Healthcare Spell Convenience?

I had a meeting this morning with two very well-known healthcare executives. I had a meeting this afternoon with my dentist. It is unfortunate that the timing of the two meetings could not have been reversed. A tried to multiply my calendar by negative one, but that does not work with time travel.
You see, I have, or to be more accurate, I had four temporary crowns; my four front teeth. The crowns met a sandwich and the sandwich won. So, there I was meeting these two executives for the first time, and I was wearing a smile that made me look like I could have been the grown version of the banjo-playing boy sitting on the bridge in the movie Deliverance.

Affixed to the back of a bus I read an advertisement from TD Bank—America’s Most Convenient Bank. Back in the day that Deliverance was just a dream in some producer’s eyes, banks were prohibited from crossing state lines for fear that they would evolve into what they are today. As a result, banks started making baby banks—brand banking.

Back then, banks were like gas stations and convenience stores—hence the name—and they had to be close to where you lived. Location, not services, defined convenience.

Like healthcare.

The only thing healthcare has in common with the term convenience is the letter ‘c’.

Today convenience in banking means the ability to do what you want, every time you want to do it, at any time you want to do it, and using whatever device you want to use. So that is what banking did. Banking transformed itself from bricks to clicks and from mortar to bits and bytes.

They did this because they knew that once they made it easy enough for everyone to enter all their financial data on an electronic platform, and deliver services from that platform that people would not change banks.

Healthcare should be doing the same thing, but it isn’t. It could. It could also have big data if it collected all the data people store on their healthcare apps and wearables, but they don’t. Whichever providers and payers are the first to collect and analyze everyone’s health data will not only win, but those firms will be the first to truly manage the health of the populations they serve.

But until then, if you are looking for convenience think about going to 7-Eleven.

 

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