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We Don’t Want What We Need

September 12, 2018
Posted by: Gerald “Pharmacist Jerry” Finken, RPh, MS; Contributor, Meghan Mosser

We Don’t Want What We NeedPhoto credit: The Dopamine Project

We all love the idea of disruption, IF it works in our favor, right?  Well, how about “innovative disruption”, the coined term of big business like Amazon, Google and Walmart, dipping their toes into the world of healthcare?

The response has been mixed for current healthcare companies, with many on the fence if it will work or not.  I’d like to take this one step further pondering, is this what healthcare truly needs? Could it be that Amazon, Google, Walmart and other non-traditional healthcare companies could actually help the healthcare industry to better understand that risk taking does not mean risk for the patient, but rather only risk for the status quo?

An article published in HealthLeaders argues that innovative disruption may be a good thing and that we should also consider that no one company can do it all. From this perspective, perhaps big business could make a good ally for the healthcare industry as each company brings with it a specialty.

For example, Amazon excels in advanced data and analytics while Walmart excels in accessibility. These are two business advantages that healthcare companies may lack, but that could enhance patient care tremendously.

If patient care is healthcare’s main focus, doesn’t it make sense to come together with big business to improve the status quo? Many healthcare companies state that at their core lies the importance of patient care. If this is so, and not the financial bottom line, what is holding them back from embracing disruption?  It could only be one thing and one thing only – fear.

There will always be risk and the associated fear of doing better.  Many have just assumed that companies like Amazon and Walmart will take over healthcare rather than co-exist peacefully with it. This is a fear that we are doing our best to ignore.  But, there is a cost to ignoring change and disruption–being left behind.

Though the paths may differ, almost all companies have the same end goal – to make money. In order for companies to make money, though, they have to please the customer. In order to please the customer, they have to grow and advance in their ways.

Yes, non-traditional big companies could indeed enhance the healthcare system we have now. Healthcare companies need to be strong and firm about becoming allies with these companies in order to embrace a potentially better future for their patients. Allies is the key word here. Healthcare companies have to be open to innovative disruption so that they aren’t overtaken, or worse yet, left behind by big companies embracing change and disruption.

Healthcare companies should come together with big business to provide better care for their patients. It won’t be easy, but it could change healthcare for the better.

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