Embracing Healthcare Disruption

How and why should you embrace the ongoing disruption in healthcare?


As Healthgrades CEO Scott Booker recently explained, making your organization more visible, more responsive, and more accessible puts consumers at the center of healthcare.Making your organization more visible, more responsive, and more accessible puts consumers at the center of healthcare. These steps toward consumer-centered disruption will solidify your place within the future of U.S. healthcare.

The Blockbuster Experience

In 2002, Blockbuster had a market capitalization of $5.5 billion (about $8 billion in today’s dollars). Netflix was worth only $100 million. But 14 years later, Netflix is worth about $42 billion and Blockbuster no longer exists. How did this happen?

Booker, who worked for Blockbuster in product development at the time, had a front-row seat to the Netflix phenomenon. Netflix made it as convenient as possible to rent a movie. It enabled consumers to have their movies of choice delivered directly to their homes, without the stress of late fees. Then it offered streaming on demand for a low monthly fee. Suddenly, consumers weren’t interested in driving to Blockbuster, browsing the emptying shelves for a limited selection of movies, and then worrying about getting the DVD back to the store on time.

Seeing the potential, Booker suggested that Blockbuster partner with or acquire Netflix. But Blockbuster initially declined the opportunity. One year later, when Blockbuster finally began development of Blockbuster Online, it was too late. Netflix had captured the market.

Healthcare Gets the Memo

How does this experience from over a decade ago apply to healthcare today? Forward-thinking healthcare organizations are taking the Blockbuster lessons and applying them in unique ways. Here are two current examples of how healthcare is transforming to meet the on-demand needs of consumers:

  • Informing doctor choice. Consumers used to rely exclusively on friends and family for doctor recommendations. Now, patient reviews and social media make the process of choosing a doctor much more efficient and reliable. Aggregators — websites that summarize multiple data sources in a structured, easy-to-understand manner — have taken the lead in engaging healthcare consumers. One site can provide detailed, actionable information on providers and conditions, enabling consumers to choose the right doctor at the right time, wherever they are.

  • Appointments — why wait? When parents had a sick child, they used to have to call their doctor’s office, wait for a return call, accept the first available appointment (which could be several days away), and take time off work to diagnose and treat even the simplest of conditions. Alternately, they could take their child to the ER and wait, after which they would receive a large bill. The advent of retail clinics, telehealth, and online appointments has made this time-consuming hassle unnecessary. Parents can get an in-home telehealth appointment, stop by a retail clinic near their home, or book a same-day doctor’s appointment online.

The Common Thread

What do these disruptive healthcare innovations have in common? Three things:

  1. Transparency. Consumers know what to expect when they make an appointment. They know their doctor’s experience, ratings, philosophy, and practice focus. At retail clinics, prices are clearly posted inside the door. Transparent value is the future of healthcare.

  2. Convenience. In today’s time-starved world, the ability to get care on demand is invaluable. Consumers can even book an appointment online while their doctor’s office is closed. Convenient care access saves productivity and frustration.

  3. Stickiness. A positive patient experience, high-quality health outcomes, and sustained online visibility help ensure brand loyalty. Consumers will stay engaged with your organization and its doctors, keeping you top of mind when they next need care.

How can you benefit from healthcare disruption? Become a consumer favorite. When it comes to consumer marketing, loyalty, and online engagement, health systems that learn from and capitalize on the successes of other industries gain a competitive edge.

Back to May 2017