Let me start by saying that on the whole, I love the health industry. We are caring, we are motivated and in many cases, we literally save lives.
Becoming involved with entrepreneurs across wide a range of areas, however, has given me a unique birds eye view of how different industries are moving and changing in the current technological landscape. This has led me to a conclusion.
As an industry, health is lagging behind the pack.
When I see people using an app to rent out their spare room, Average Joes driving other Joes around in their personal cars, and business owners with team members overseas that they have never personally met, I see that the services that enable all of this to happen all have something in common. Their founders weren’t afraid to break the rules, and better yet, they weren’t afraid to start something when the rules didn’t even exist yet.
As health professionals, we have an amazing reputation as being credible, trusted and competent. This is because we have rigid guidelines and regulations around our qualifications, continuing education and research. We need all of these checks and balances in place to protect the safety of our patients. But have we become so used to following ‘Evidence Based Practice’ in our patient interactions, that we have forgotten to think outside the box with regards to the non-clinical aspects of our services? I certainly think so.
So here is a list of concepts within health that I feel could do with a good shake up:
1. I MUST PHYSICALLY TOUCH SOMEONE IN ORDER TO FIX THEM
Rather than questioning telehealth and whether it is safe, viable or effective, simply embrace it, and find a way to make it safe, viable and effective.
2. I MUST CHARGE PER CONSULT
While the world embraces monthly plans and unlimited access, our health consultations are still stuck in pay-per-consult mode. How can we do this differently, and better?
3. PATIENTS MUST BE ‘BROKEN’ FOR THEM TO NEED ME
The most successful businesses today start solving people’s problems before they even know they have them. How can you create content or tools that can help people before they need your traditional health service?
4. MY REACH IS MY LOCAL AREA
The suburban private health practice can now be so much more, thanks to technology. Why limit your reach to your local area, when you can create posts, videos, and digital products that can help people across the globe?
5. I MUST PROTECT MY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
You studied hard for your qualifications and now people must pay for your knowledge. Right? Wrong. The online world is hungry for content, and the more the interested public can read, hear and watch about you and what you do, the more they will want to see you, and pay even more for your services.
6. I SHOULDN’T INTERACT WITH MY PATIENTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Create a private group for communication with your close family and friends, and then use your social profiles to promote the side of you that practices what you preach to your patients. With some checks and balances in place, social media can be a great way to communicate with your patients.
7. LINKEDIN IS FOR WHEN I WANT TO GET A JOB
It’s time to face facts. Our patients are googling us all the time, so it is important that we take control of what they see. A well written, complete and interesting LinkedIn profile is the best place for patients to get a professional overview of who you are, and it will rank beautifully on google when they search for you.
The health industry must strive to use evidence based practice to develop safe and effective patient treatments, however we need to find a different, more innovative head space for the ancillary components to our services. The result will ultimately be a better patient experience, and a more effective health professional.