Each Friday, we send out a handful of articles from the past week, related to healthcare and design, as well as an in-depth look at a current trend affecting healthcare right now.

Anticipating patient needs to improve access

In our latest podcast, we had the opportunity to speak with Christi McCarren, SVP of Retail Health and Community Based Care at MultiCare. The Crux of our conversation was around access and MultiCare's new retail initiative, Indigo.

Indigo is unique for a number of reasons, many of which we explore on the show. Of particular note is how MultiCare is creating new care channels to better anticipate their patient's needs throughout the continuum of care.

Our goal is to become the "Amazon of healthcare" and anticipate what (our patients) needs are.

- Christi McCarren on Crux Points Podcast

As we have spoken to before, access is not only about geography. It's about being there for the patient no matter what their stage in life or preferred preferences are. Sometimes access is about being convenient for someone on a tight schedule, other times it's about connecting with younger generations through technology. MultiCare knows this.

The following are the top three things we can learn about access through our conversation with Christi:

  1. We must move with patients as they grow Patients are not a stagnant population. Whether it be added responsibilities from a growing family or added stress from chronic conditions, patients are constantly changing how they want to receive care. By providing multiple service lines to improve access for all life stages, systems can grow with patients, instead of having patients outgrow them.
  2. Create value through anticipating needs An especially interesting conversation we had was around how MultiCare is using their CRM to anticipate the needs of patients. Just like Amazon is able to anticipate shopping needs based on prior purchases and customer information, MultiCare is levering their knowledge about the patient to provide services before issues become critical. By having a rich patient database and using that data in meaningful ways, systems can provide additional value to patients.
  3. Partnerships matter One of the most important lessons for systems to keep in mind is that they can't "go it alone". Whether through partnerships or mergers and acquisitions, knowing what skills or service lines one is lacking can help to create a strategic partnership that benefits both parties through shared costs, more referrals, and stronger experiences.

To learn more about MultiCare, Indigo Urgent Care, and Christi's strategy for approaching retail care, be sure to listen to our latest podcast. Check us out at castandhue.com or search for "Crux Points" on your favorite podcast app.

The Weekly Roundup

A collection of interesting articles from the past week.

PwC Report: Most Primary Care Teams Are Not Designed to Optimize Care

As we move towards value-based care, primary care will become an increasingly important part of a patient's healthcare ecosystem. Unfortunately, a new study by PwC shows that most practices are not designed to provide optimal care. This article pulls out a few of the key findings from the research and gives tips to help primary care physicians adapt.

Here's how Novant Health sets its patient portal apart

North Carolina-based Novant Health has designed their portal around patient needs. Through adaptation and constant integration, and integration with frameworks such as Apple's CareKit, they have been able to provide increasing value to patients. This article tells more about the process of building the portal and how it impacts brand loyalty.

How to make the diabetes patient experience suck less

Chronic issues often are overlooked when designing for improved patient experiences. Compared to acute conditions that involved high-profile departments such as the ED, resources put towards improving care for those suffering from diseases like diabetes are less. This is the story of how Omada Health is working to improve the patient experience for those suffering from diabetes.

Dr. Google isn’t all bad: Patient engagement might help outcomes

Last week we took a hard stance on the impact of patient symptom-finder tools. That's not to say that they don't hold any benefit. This article talks to how such services can increase patient engagement and lead to more education and better outcomes.

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