Brand experience and the patient centered medical home

Screen shot 2014-02-17 at 8.29.21 AM Apple, Amazon, USAA – and patient centered medical homes? Yes, you can get there from here.  

We recently met with one of our healthcare clients to talk about their forming a patient-centered medical home. But our conversation took a twist when we started talking about the importance of patient experience.

It led us to talking about superb brand experience companies like Apple, Amazon and USAA. Because these companies leapfrog competition by managing their business from the outside in, putting “the customer” at the center of every decision they make. Similar to what’s required for brilliant execution of PCMH.

If you’re not familiar with the concept, in February 2007 the Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home were developed by the four largest primary care physician organizations (AAFP, AAP, ACP, and AOA). They include:

1. Personal physician – each patient has an ongoing relationship with a personal physician.

2. Physician directed medical practice – personal physician leads a team responsible for collective ongoing care of the patient.

3. Whole-person oriented care – personal physician is responsible for providing (or appropriately arranging) all of the patient’s care throughout all stages of life and care management.

4. Care is coordinated and/or integrated – across all elements of the health care system and the patient’s community where and when they need and want it, e.g.  through health IT, hospitals, specialists, home health, family, etc., in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.

5. Quality and safety – is focused on through patient advocacy, evidence-based practice of medicine, clinical decision support tools, continuous process improvement, use of health IT to measure and benchmark, appropriate and authoritative recognition by a non-governmental entity, and patient and family engagement.

6. Enhanced access – care includes enhanced access through open scheduling, expanded hours, and new patient-care team communication tools.

7. Payment – appropriately recognizes the added value delivered to patients who have a patient centered medical home.

There are always great insights, ideas and lessons to be learned from outside category role models. In this case, it’s because patients (who happen to be consumers) don’t compartmentalize their experiences on a category by category basis. The kind of experience they get from Amazon and Apple and USAA they expect from their healthcare providers. And in the case of the patient-centered medical home, it’s about…

  • a simplified and coordinated health care experience that provides the right care at the right time and place
  • creating a strong partnership between patient and primary care physician (similar to the partnerships between these great companies and their loyal customers)
  • improving health outcomes through care coordination
  • communication that’s central to advising and educating to keep patients healthy
  • giving patients better access to their information, and more contact with their medical team

Delivering the same kind of customer-centric experience that distances companies like Apple, Amazon and USAA from their competitors.

Eric Brody

Eric Brody is President of Trajectory, a brand and marketing firm specializing in creating momentum for businesses across the health + wellness continuum. The common threads are consumers who want to get well, stay well and play well, and brands that fulfill these aspirations and goals.

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