During our annual company retreat in beautiful Panama City Beach, we split the team up and had a pitch competition.
The Prompt: You are the administrator of a 10 provider practice. You are not allowed to hire any other staff, nor work at the office yourself. You can build any technology you want, what would your office look like?
I wanted to share some of the ideas the teams came up with and the commonalities we independently arrived at.
The Craziest Idea
One team created a tube delivery device that would enable the office to deliver any inventory or drug instantly to the exam room. It was meant to satisfy patients with quick service and to create a "just-in-time" inventory system. Unfortunately, tubes/hyperloops aren’t there yet.
While the teams differed in their approaches and pitches, there were five main commonalties that came up.
1) The All Powerful, Diagnosing Machine
Both teams came up with an all-seeing, all-knowing diagnosing machine. One team came up with a pill ingested at birth that would consistently measure vitals. Another team came up with a wrist band sent prior to the appointment that would accomplish the same thing while eliminating the 5 minutes spent at every appointment measuring vitals.
These tools served third purposes. First, they expand the data available to providers prior to the appointment. That way, the doctor isn’t relying on a snapshot of a person during a 15 minute window. Second, the tool enables diagnoses before a patient knows what’s wrong. Third, it sounds amazing and is very futuristic.
2) Intelligent Voice
Voice played a large role for both teams in solving the issue of providers having to enter notes and wasting time in the appointment. Voice speakers in the office would allow doctors to record the visit without staring at a screen. Earpieces for the doctors would also feed them 30-60 second summaries of a patient’s last visit before they came in so the doctor is up to speed.
3) Maximizing time with the providers
Both teams focused heavily on eliminating steps that got in the way of providers and patients talking. The teams accomplished this by
a) Eliminating note taking for providers via voice recording
b) Dynamically adjusting appointment types durations so patients wouldn’t arrive too early and find a rushing provider
c) Using communication to make sure that patients arrived on time
4) Transparent billing and insurance companies
Both teams tackled the issue of billing and the complexity of dealing with insurance companies. One did this by creating a subscription model that replaced insurance. The other did extensive deals with the insurance companies incentivizing them to share data and records in exchange for simple pricing.
Without staff there, both teams turned slightly to robotics, but not as much as one would think. The robot played the role of a greeter, bringing patients to their room and escorting them out.
A Key Takeaway
Many tools mentioned here are already in the market. Utilizing the right tools to create an integrated solution will pay huge dividends in increasing office productivity.