What can executives of health and human services learn from the financial services sector? A lot, according to Yuhgo Yamaguchi, principal at design and innovation consultancy Continuum. He goes over a few key takeaways for health care leaders in his recent article, What Health Care Can Learn from the Transformation of Financial Services, in Harvard Business Review.
What struck me reading the piece was the following strategic responses of financial services firms to a “disrupted” market:
- Turned services into products
- Improved convenience while lowering cost
- Leveraged big data to provide tailored customer solutions
I think these are all essential elements of strategy development for health and human service provider organizations in the current market, which is characterized by both disruptive innovation and economic turbulence.
Turning Services Into Products
For market success (and preferred contracts with health plans), it’s no longer enough to just offer a collection of services. Rather, services need to be positioned and packaged to appeal to both consumers and health plans. There is a science to both new service line development (see Finding & Developing Your Next Big Thing and Need Financing For Your Next Big Service?) and creating new processes for solution-focused approaches for working with health plans (see The Business Model Transition To Value-Based Care).
Improving Convenience While Lowering Cost
This is the value equation on technology “steroids.” Consumers want a better experience, one that’s more convenient with a range of communication platforms. Consumers (and health plans) want lower costs. Technology is the key to both. We’ve previously shared how provider organizations can expand their reach with digital and mobile technologies (see Fitting ‘Invisibles’ Into Your Tech Planning and Consumer Health Tech: If You Build It, Will They Come?), and improve operations through big data and more rigorous analytics (see Sharing Data, Driving Performance: What Payer/Provider Collaborations Can Do and A Data-Driven Culture: What It Is & Why It’s Important).
Leveraging Big Data To Provide Tailored Consumer Solutions
The art of mass customization (see Customization Is The Future King Of Marketing, Consumer Focused? Think Mass Customization, and Who Is Your Chief Experience Officer?) is key to consumer marketing, as well as to success with integrated care coordination. For most executives of provider organizations and health plans, this takes the shape of decision support — using data sets and algorithms to plan the most effective consumer care (see Health Care Must Industrialize!, Economies Of Scale 101, and Be Big? Be Like The Cheesecake Factory).
How to bake these concepts into your strategic plan? Start your thinking at “the end.” What do consumers and health plans want? They want to understand what they are buying (the service product), have a quality service experience (with improved convenience), and have the ability to tailor that service experience without large additional cost (mass customization).
For more on market-driven planning, check out these resources in our OPEN MINDS Industry Library:
- The Snags In ‘Speed To Market’ For Health Care Innovations
- New Consumerism Will Test Behavioral Health Business Acumen: Think McDonald’s, Nordstrom & Marriott
- Consumer Health Tech: If You Build It, Will They Come?