When I think how healthcare has change with Google, the first thought that comes to my mind is how useful searching is for keeping up to date and easily learn new things. Well, Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. However, this is just the beginning: there are lots of things that healthcare should look up into Google’s ways. Let me show you why…
Google has been one of the fastest growing companies in the world. Let’s just mention their some financial data: FY ending 2013 reported revenue for almost USD 60B and a net income of almost 13B. Both revenue and net income have steadily increased in the last few years. What Google has done to achieve this impressive results?
You might be able to resume everything with the first statement of Google’s beliefs: “Focus on the user and all else will follow”. Just think of how many things we do everyday with Google’s services and how almost everything is for free: searching, email, docs, analytics, maps and so on. Also, user experience with each one of these products is great. There are designed to solve some aspect of our everyday life. So, how does Google make any money? Advertising is the answer. It’s kind of making money from the back door. Google reinvented advertising, it charges for performance (what is called pay-per-click) and not any more for time or space.
So, where are the healthcare links here? First, think about this “focus on the user and all else will follow”. Focusing in the patient is the key. It seems so obvious, but how many times we rush with things that so little have to do with our medical practice? Most of us studied medicine to care for patients, right? So, here’s the first thing: just care about the patient and do what you think is best right thing for him.
Let’s go one step further: data that is accessible and transparent. Google has made it possible for everyone to find almost everything on the web. If a client had a bad experience with a brand, you’ll find it. Healthcare has just begun the journey of opening data up. It is common among doctors to be jealous about our knowledge and more often than not, data is kept and not shared. This is especially true when the results are not good ones: how much common is to hear about the great results of some surgery than about the complications. You can learn much more from the cases that didn’t go that well, than from the straightforward case. Why should we private ourselves from this kind of learning? It’s a fact that many hospitals started to show their data and made it accessible for everyone. However, this doesn’t happen everywhere and some parts of the world are even far from starting with initiatives like this. Why a patient that comes to visit me shouldn’t be aware of how many patients I treated with his condition? Or what my complication rate is?
Lastly, another Google’s statement: “Great just isn’t good enough”. As health care practitioners, its necessary to be great but clearly this is not enough to surpass yourself. And when it comes to do the best for our patients that extra mile always counts.
Guest post from Sebastian Defranchi, MD - MedicosMBA