– By Denise Adamson, Corporate Vice President of Sales, BioIQ –
Last month I attended the Woman in Healthcare conference in Nashville, Tennessee. It was informative and inspiring. Dr. Joanne Conroy, CEO of Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, discussed how we can become women of impact in our healthcare careers. To have a lasting impact women must:
- Be committed to something bigger than ourselves
- Be honest and authentic
- Have integrity
- Be 100 percent responsible
This led to a dynamic panel presentation that featured several members of Women of Impact, a group of healthcare leaders who are working to make the U.S. healthcare system more equitable, affordable, and patient-centered. One panelist cited an example from Malcolm Gladwell’s popular book, The Tipping Point, in which New York City reduced crime by cleaning up its subway system. After the city fixed broken windows on the trains and scrubbed graffiti off the walls and attended to a number of deferred maintenance items, people began to behave differently while riding the subways. Crime went down and stayed down.
Clearly there is an analogy here for our healthcare system: fix the broken windows, improve the outdated systems, improve the consumer experience of healthcare and people will start to embrace healthcare services in a more positive way. By changing the context of the healthcare environment, we can help change patient behavior. Three important ideas emerged during this part of the panel discussion:
- Empowerment – Patients need to be empowered to take care of their own health.
- Language – We need to shift from executing healthcare “transactions” to taking a genuine interest in patient health, and explaining things in clear, actionable terms.
- Disparities – We need to address the issue of implied societal rank when treating patients. Everyone is equally important and deserving of good care.
Even after seeing a doctor or completing a wellness program, some people don’t act because they are overwhelmed by clinical terms or intimidated by complex instructions. They don’t understand what they are supposed to do. I left the conference feeling even more motivated about what we are doing at BioIQ. Our goal is to help everyone know their biometric numbers and learn how to improve those numbers.
Like many women who seek to impact the health care system in a positive way, I renewed my commitment as a communicator. As I interact with customers, partners, and participants in my work with BioIQ, I want to help people understand what to do at each stage of their healthcare journey so they can stay on a path to better health.