Do We Eat Our Own Dog Food?

I don’t know the answer here, but I am sure someone out there does. The question is whether healthcare professionals are bigger utilizers of healthcare services (e.g., MRIs, prescriptions, well visits, etc.). I always want to know that from service providers. If you are selling me a CRM (customer relationship management) application, do you use it? If you selling me financial advice, have you used your own advice to get rich?

I think back to a prior job where I remember our lawyer telling me that they used anti-depressants, and my boss telling me that she had sleep problems and used drugs to help her sleep. But, in other cases, I know health professionals that will try many other options (e.g., diet, exercise, nutraceuticals) before using prescriptions.

The reality is that whatever we do it isn’t something that can be extrapolated. We know too much and therefore aren’t a relevant predictor of behavior. Those of us that work in the industry are just too close. The problem is how many products, offerings, services, solutions, etc. are based on what we would want.

We need that outside-in perspective to tell us what the average person (if such a person existed) or simply a normal person within a micro-niche might do. How would they react? How do they interpret information? What makes sense to them? If I say you have to “renew” your prescription every 12 months, do you know what that means? Does the term GPI or NDC or therapy class mean anything to you? I remember looking at our formulary documents one year which were organized by therapy class (e.g., Non-Sedating Antihistamines, Proton Pump Inhibitors) and all of a sudden realizing that no patient could understand that. We would mail it to them and expect them to know what the alternative drugs were in the class. They didn’t even know how to read the document.

One Response to “Do We Eat Our Own Dog Food?”

  1. I was a ‘niche’ consumer of significant ortho trauma services (multiple reconstructive surgeries to knee and ankle) following an MVA, before I was interested in the healthcare field as a career.

    Part of the problem? Everyone with whom I shared my desire to help improve the system as a healthcare administrator has warned me away from the field. I’ve heard it compared to the business-career equivalent of ‘donor wagons,’ or motorcycles, in the ED.

    Why do I recommend things like concierge care, better gowns, more comfortable beds/blankets, the Ogee pain pump, etc? Because I’ve used them as a patient and found they worked.

    Whose views will I incorporate as a healthcare administrator? Every patient with whom I can speak. Every patient’s experience is worth listening to – at least once.

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