Restaurants and healthcare are both customer-centered industries. Diners and patients arrive with certain expectations – usually it’s that they’ll receive “treatment” for a condition or concern (in a restaurant, the concern is hunger), and, if all goes well, they’ll leave the experience better off than they were when they arrived.
That, however, is where the similarities end. Because if restaurants were run by healthcare, the experience would probably look more like this:
What’s our point? In most service industries, workflow is standardized, and a number of decisions – like what goes on a menu – are made based on an analysis of what works for the population. Customers know the prices, make a few key, informed decisions, and understand the “treatment” they’ll be receiving. And billing? In most industries, you don’t have to wait 90 days after the service was provided to find out what’s owed.
For any number of reasons, healthcare is different. But it doesn’t have to be. We have the benefit of data – far more than any restaurant has at hand. We can use that data to improve workflow and processes and to better understand the how to serve a specific population and keep the patient’s satisfaction with everything we do – from treatment to billing – front and center.
As Dale previously said about this same topic, “Why should we tolerate these crazy processes [in healthcare] in what is one of – if not the most – important areas of our lives? Let’s at least build software that allows us to move away from these broken processes, even if we don’t have the cultural willpower to do so right away… at least give us the software option to be better, someday.”