I wanted to share with the public an email I sent this year to our company and Board. I did change some of the copy to have the correct narrative. I think this group will enjoy reading about how mobileStorm views the importance of a killer UE in healthcare. I started mobileStorm in 1999 and have seen mobile, SaaS, and healthcare all make dramatic changes (some faster than others). I also think you will find this article interesting if you want to share my thoughts as to where I see the market and mobileStorm headed.
Having an amazing UE will bring us tremendous success in healthcare. It will allow us to succeed in selling our products & services. Don’t get me wrong or think that I am detracting from our mission of “Intelligent Communication;” this is still very much our end game. I believe to achieve our mission we need to be highly aware of producing amazing user experiences, both within our own interface and to consumers who interact with our clients’ content (note: we sell a communication platform to businesses who use it to interact with their customers via email, mobile, and social channels). The right timing, frequency, and number of messages can lead to a great UE for a consumer or a bad one. So by solving “messaging relevancy,” we’re also creating a great user experience. These two concepts go hand in hand.
In general, doctors are not very tech savvy. The majority do not use the Internet to provide their patients with amazing user experiences. I think that, as an organization, Kaiser Permanente (and the doctors that work for them) is an exception. Since switching to them as our insurer last year, I’ve had the unique pleasure of being able to experience that UE first hand. I have been blown away with the patient UE (although I don’t like having to see my primary care physician every single time). Kaiser has integrated almost everything; you can really see their investment in Information Technology paying off.
You pay your co-pay at a kiosk, you get a printout after meeting with the doc (that’s the equivalent of a retrospective in Agile software development), and an email is shot off to you with your test results within 24 hours. You can also head down to the pharmacy and your meds are waiting. You can really see how implementing an EMR company-wide creates efficacy. No matter which facility you go to, you have the same experience. There’s a reason McDonald’s is so successful–imagine how hard it is to make a burger taste exactly the same whether you are in Van Nuys, CA or Cameroon in Africa. They have mastered logistics. Kaiser did the same thing by implementing Epic; they have created a much better and more efficient user experience. Just like no one has been able to scale restaurants the same way McDonald’s has, very few providers in healthcare have been able to successfully integrate the payer and provider model as well as Kaiser has. My view is that companies like Humana are starting to buy clinics again because they realize the model can work (they used to employ the payer/provider model). However, I believe the model only works with complete efficiency, and to be efficient you need an amazing UE. Not to mention efficiency saves lots of money and lives.
I met one of the most fascinating doctors I ever met at a party a few weeks ago. He is a very young doctor who is also a UE/UX interface expert. We had an incredible conversation about how healthcare doesn’t understand the importance of UE. As much as Epic has made Kaiser efficient (and it’s a step up compared to most other traditional HC systems), we both agreed that the UE is still not that great which, by the way, matches up with the sentiments from every doctor and nurse I asked about their experience working with Epic. Sorry Epic, we think you are awesome and maybe it’s not possible to have the perfect UX with a system as entailed as yours, but every person I interviewed has the same feeling: “cumbersome.” Even if everyone agreed the interface has poor UE, the platform is successful because the efficiency flows through to the consumer, which alone is a good experience.
This UX doctor and I discussed why companies that focus on usability will be the winners. What’s amazing is that this doctor created a clinic in a very up-and-coming part of town that a lot of his colleagues said would fail because of the location. He focused on an amazing user experience–everything from his EMR, to his website, to how he engages with customers when they walk in the door. He uses iPads instead of a clipboard, and the only thing he did to acquire patients was use social media. He went from $0 in revenue to $40k in four months. He didn’t tell me what his revenue is now, but they have 7,000 patients, five doctors, and get 150 appointments per month just from yelp alone. He’s a highly sought-after speaker and people want him to open up facilities all over the country. Doctors want to know what this guy did. He’s an interface designer at heart and just applied this skill to creating a completely new kind of clinic, one with a unique patient/doctor experience.
I read about a company called Massive Health a while back on Techcrunch, and recently our Director of Sales for Healthcare (Elyse Rossler) gave me an article about the founder, Aza Raskin. He has already raised $2.5 million from Marc Andreessen (Netscape founder and big-time VC) and Reid Hoffman (Linkedin Founder & CEO). Aza’s dad developed the UI for the Macintosh (and even named it). The article goes on to say that it’s pretty audacious to think that a 27-year-old designer with no medical experience can fix healthcare, but he is relentless about the user experience. I guess apples don’t fall far from the trees. Aza grew up with his dad’s mantra, “It’s not your fault if you cannot understand an interface,” which I think is brilliant; it’s very Apple-esque. The article points out that because of his outsider status, he actually has an advantage. ”He looks at healthcare from a consumer’s point of view, not a practitioner’s.” This is exactly how mobileStorm takes its approach. When talking to a prospect, we speak very proudly of our marketing heritage and cite examples of how our experience translates to healthcare. For over a decade we have been helping businesses drive revenue on mobile devices, simply by helping them influence consumer behavior. Healthcare needs to influence people to stay healthy so we have a huge impact on costs.
I love watching how a potential client’s face lights up when I talk about how our platform is so dead simple to use, you can train a $15-an-hour business analyst to complete very powerful and secure multi-channel campaigns that normally have to involve IT because of the complexity. I constantly preach to our team that the easier our service is to use, the fewer people we need to hire to support it, and our revenue per employee (which will have a huge impact on our exit) will be much higher. Not only will having an amazing UE be a breath of fresh air in healthcare, but our chances of scaling our business increases tremendously. Finally, if we want traction in the biggest part of the market (which will be small- to medium-sized providers such as clinics, labs, etc.), the platform has to be self-service and dead simple to use.
We need to always remember to ask ourselves, “What will make this more intuitive, easier, and faster for our customer and their customers?”
I want everyone thinking about how his or her department can play a role as a UE cop. Challenge everything and let’s try and say “no” more often than “yes.” You know how much I love Apple. This is their mantra, and they just became the largest company in the world because of it.
Posted in Digital Marketing Blog