Oneview Blog

Innovating in healthcare without talking to patients? STOP!

The whirlwind of HIMSS is fast approaching. This year, Oneview Healthcare is doing something a little different at the show. Last week I wrote about going back to basics. Listening, thinking, building.

All of the listening, thinking, and building CENTERS around #OneviewOneQ: "How does this make patient care better?" That is the question that we're asking at HIMSS this year, because we think this is a critical conversation.

We are passionate about the patient voice, which is why we're welcoming the Savvy Coop to our innovation space (#450) at HIMSS. The coop is the brainchild of two patients who were tired of healthcare innovators designing products and services without talking to patients first. They wanted to give patients a voice, a voice that was valued not just by being listened to, but by being compensated for their contribution.

Jen Horonjeff, CEO of Savvy, will be joining us to set-up a "We Love Patients" Valentine Station, alongside Chuck Webster's Maker Station. This is how healthcare innovation should happen. Patients and makers coming together to talk, think and build solutions that actually make patient care better.

We’re also proud to have sponsored Savvy’s recent membership drive, which means we’re sending one of their patient co-owners to HIMSS this year. Jen and the Savvy Puppets can tell you more about that in this video. Also, check out Jen’s session: Don’t Build More HealthTech Without Asking Patients First.

HIMSS is about enabling better patient care through technology, yet for many years patients had no voice.

This seems crazy, yet it was simply a reflection of the industry's attitude to patients. In paternalistic medicine, patients were not equal partners. They were treated by those who had the expertise, and their place was not to question. Similarly, technology solutions were built by the "experts". The organizations who had the technical talent to build these sophisticated systems. And so much as we had clinician-centric medicine, we had tech-centric solutions. Anyone used an EHR recently?...

Thankfully, medicine has shifted, patients are increasingly empowered to be partners, and care professes to be patient-centric. It's a similar journey, albeit a decade or so later, to the one taken in other industries such as banking. Over the last decade, it's become easy to switch bank accounts, and the balance of power has moved from the bank to the consumer. In order to attract and retain customers, banks have had to drag themselves into the 21st century and become customer-centric. They've mapped out customer journeys and redesigned the experience around the customer - not around their internal structure and processes.

The key to this is understanding the customer. Involving customers in the design of systems, testing ideas, getting user feedback and iterating based on this feedback. If you do not do this, you are making assumptions that may turn out to be invalid. And if you've built the system before you find this out, you're not going to get the engagement you expected - and it will be costly to fix it.

The answer is simple. Don't build “solutions” without talking to the people who are supposed to use it or be impacted by it.

In healthcare, that means you need to ask patients. You need to co-design. At Oneview, we build solutions for patients and clinicians with a diverse and global set of healthcare providers, clinicians and patients. User research is the foundation for our software development, from listening to patients (often via our customers' Patient Advisory Boards) to conducting Human Factors Research.

Bottom line: If you're building software in healthcare, and you're not talking to patients, STOP. Don't make assumptions. Come and talk to Jen, Chuck and our team at our innovation space. Let’s come together to answer #OneviewOneQ: How does this make patient care better?

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