Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It really is - All About the Customer

It is refreshing to hear about a healthcare organization that is getting it right. The art and practice of medicine may seem as difficult as rocket science but this idea is not.

Cleveland Clinic is not your standard hospital. Their reputation draws the sickest patients from around the world – a third of the hospital is intensive care units. They have become a model for healthcare as well for other industries looking to improve their processes.

The idea that caught my attention was discussed in an interview in Fortune Magazine,, with the CEO, Delos Cosgrove M.D.

His revolutionary idea is – Let the patient look at their own chart. As he said, “It’s really about the patient….It’s the patient’s information. It’s about them. Why shouldn’t they have the data”. Not so surprising Cleveland Clinic had some hurdles to overcome like fears of how the patient would handle the information about a diagnosis. These concerns drove doctors to improve communication to their patients. This is not a rocket science idea yet it has not been a common practice for healthcare organizations.

When reading the interview with Cosgrove, I thought so when isn’t it about the customer. Too often the focus is not on the customer but on internal practices that have been in place for many years. Ask yourself -

What information should you make available to your customer?

How might that information and transparency improve customer loyalty?

What information needs to be available to employees so they can better serve customers – think across departments and functions?

Your customer may not be as thin skinned as you think. It is amazing what empowering your customer with the right information can do.

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