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Digital Product Transformation for Healthcare Companies
Episode

Jonathon Hensley, Co-Founder & CEO at EMERGE

Digital Product Transformation for Healthcare Companies

Is your site doing everything that it should be doing? Are your online digital assets doing everything they should be doing? If you answered yes, you better think about that. Here’s an opportunity to go bigger and better.

 

In this episode, we have the privilege of hosting the outstanding Jonathon Hensley, CEO of Emerge Interactive Digital Product where he works with clients to transform businesses, strategies, user needs, and new technologies into valuable products and services. Jonathon discusses embracing digital as more than just a place to get information versus a product where you can deliver value or improve patient experience and support caregivers. He shares his insights on technology transforming organizations, using empathy mapping, and more. This is a gem-packed interview so don’t miss it!

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Digital Product Transformation for Healthcare Companies

About Jonathon Hensley 

Jonathon is the Co-founder, CEO/ Chief Creative Officer at Emerge Interactive Digital Product Agency. He is an accomplished writer and speaker. In 2012 he was recognized in the Portland Business Journal’s “40 under 40” as one of Portland’s emerging professional and community leaders.

Prior to Emerge, he was a Technology Advisor via the Technology Partner Network for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the CEO and President of the Empire Group. 

Digital Product Transformation for Healthcare Companies with Jonathon Hensley, Co-Founder & CEO at EMERGE transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Digital Product Transformation for Healthcare Companies with Jonathon Hensley, Co-Founder & CEO at EMERGE was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2021. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

Saul Marquez:
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Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the Outcomes Rocket. Saul Marquez is here and today I have the privilege of hosting the outstanding Jonathon Hensley. He is the CEO of Emerge Interactive Digital Product Agency, where he works with clients to transform businesses, strategies, user needs, and new technologies into valuable products and services. He’s an accomplished writer and speaker. Jonathon has lectured on topics such as the Connected Consumers Impact on business, creating value through data-driven experiences and user-centric approaches to innovation in 2012. He was recognized in the Portland Business Journal’s 40 under 40 as one of Portland’s emerging professional and community leaders. Under Jonathon’s stewardship emerge, Interactive has committed to a simple philosophy. The relationship between emerge and its client should exist to create real and lasting value, to change the conversation, to move people to action, to inspire and motivate a team to focus on what matters. And we wanted to get Jonathon on the podcast today to talk to us a little bit about what they’re thinking about digital as we look to transform the way that we touch our communities, our patients, our customers through digital transformation. It’s such a great time to have Jonathon join us. So, Jonathon, just want to say big thanks to you for taking the time to be with us today.

Jonathon Hensley:
Thank you so much for having me, Saul.

Saul Marquez:
Absolutely. So before we dive into what you’re up to within health care and the work that you’re conducting there and thinking about, what is it that that inspires your work in digital overall?

Jonathon Hensley:
Well, I think what really inspires me about digital is how technology is fundamentally changing the way that we live our lives day to day in the way that we work. I had the opportunity to grow up in Silicon Valley and so I was surrounded by incredible people constantly innovating and looking at how technology could permeate the way that we live and think about our daily lives and our activities and how we connect as people and then seeing that look at how scaled out and really the foothold it has taken in businesses, in innovation and driving our economy and our conversations has just continued to inspire me. And so over the last twenty-two years, it’s been the same motivation that’s really driven me and keeps me excited with this constant pace of change of how technology can continue to bring this value to people.

Saul Marquez:
It’s amazing, right? I mean, what we could do with whether it be a campaign to drive behavior or just how people access certain things, technology can really help. And we’ve faced a lot of challenges through the covid pandemic. And health care has really been more open than ever for this type of change and this type of digital transformation. Why don’t you talk to us a little bit about Emerge and what exactly you guys are doing to help those of us in health care?

Jonathon Hensley:
Yeah. So one of the big areas of focus for Emerge is health care over the last 15 years. And we have really been working with organizations to not just embrace digital as a marketing tool or embrace it into how they can improve the patient experience or support caregivers or support the relationship between patients and payers. But really to come in and how do we look at technology through the lens of empathy? How do we drive innovation that can have a sustainable long term impact? And so a lot of our work is helping our clients wherever they sit in the health care spectrum to look at that empathy layer and to really focus on digital as a product. A lot of time digital becomes this disposable thing or it becomes a tool and it is an essential tool. But it needs to be managed as a product to drive continuous innovation and serve the providers and the patients that are out there. And so I’ll give a really quick example. Know today’s website for any hospital or care provider is essentially your front door and COVID just amplifies that. It said, OK, well, with social distancing and being more aware, we need our websites to do a better job. And I would argue that most websites are dramatically underperformed because they’re being managed as websites that are more information resources than they are as critical products.

Jonathon Hensley:
Meaning how do I help somebody in an emergency navigate the services we can provide when they’re in a state of distress versus being overwhelmed by how much information is being presented or how do I help somebody or a family member find a physician with a network knowing they’re available, understanding their expertise? And what does that look like to provide end care? And that becomes very, very complex. As we all know, when we start going from general practice into specialists and moving through the health care system, it’s nowhere near linear system. And that’s how a lot of patient experiences and systems have been designed with this kind of linear, simple model. That’s just not the way it actually works. And so by coming in and changing that perspective, you can unlock incredible innovation opportunities and ways to engage patients, as well as incredible efficiencies for these health care providers that would automatically provide more resources to provide better patient outcomes and also to support the success of those organizations and the health of their employees and the financial needs that they need to continue to serve and support their community.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, Jonathon, that’s that’s a really neat insight. Right. when you think about a website as merely just a place to get information versus a product where you could deliver value to a customer or a patient. It really does change the way that you look at it and your expectation of what that asset is to do.

Jonathon Hensley:
One hundred percent. I mean, when we look at a product, we look at what’s the value exchange, what am I going to get from this product if I’m willing to pay for it or engage with it in order to that might be a launching platform into something else. And you see this with a lot of challenges that both patients and providers are talking about all the time, the fragmentation of all these systems, having to fill out paperwork multiple times, and then you see these urgent care clinics popping up all over the country who are trying to simplify that process, trying to innovate and trying to unify those pieces to so they can drive better outcomes so they can make health care services more accessible to the communities that they serve. And so we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what we can be doing, and especially where technology would allow us to go if we can make that transformation within our organizations and then we engage patients with that sense of empathy. I mean, I think that one person I really admire is Adrienne Boissy. She’s the Chief Experience Officer at the Cleveland Clinic, and she does a great TED talk actually about that. Empathy is not a soft skill. It’s one of the essential hard skills in health care and how it has been proven to drive better patient outcomes. And so when we take a product approach, empathy is at the heart of great product design. And so when you think about applying that to a website, what are we really doing? We’re trying to engage people in such an effective manner that our website itself can help support that part of the customer patient journey so that they are going to have a better experience and a better outcome. And that is so key, especially in the time of COVID, and as we look going forward with the changes that we will have as mandated by the situation in health care indefinitely.

Saul Marquez:
Jonathon, what are some other examples? The website is a great one because we obviously all have one and all of us in business. So what else can we be looking at that maybe we’re not looking at as a product?

Jonathon Hensley:
I think that the thing that maybe isn’t always seen as a product, but I think that everybody can really relate to is the app that you have on your smartphone, whether you own an Apple or Android, being able to schedule an appointment from your phone and then seen, which is your doctor available, being able to look at your medical records or test results, being able to communicate securely with a provider. Those are products. And being able to unify that is is in itself a product from a med device perspective a lot of the added value and the accessibility of those products or the ability to have information between a patient go back to a provider is built into the product position through mobile. And I think that is absolutely essential because everybody’s got one for the most part.

Jonathon Hensley:
So how do we look at that? The other key thing that that does is it allows us to democratize care in such a way where if we’re not able to care or use those tools for ourselves, then we have ways to invite family members and or other caregivers who are supporting our loved ones into those applications, into those products and extend the value of that product, while still producing better outcomes for our loved ones and patients, so I think that’s another really important one that we see and it touches in many, many different facets.

Jonathon Hensley:
So I think one really easy example. There’s the med device example. There’s the utility example of accessing your medical records. There are also simple things that you see, I think, really innovative and thoughtful organizations doing. For example, we work for the Children’s Hospital that wanted to realize that they have missed appointments, which cost the hospital a tremendous amount of money. But they realized if they really focused on that empathy layer like I was talking about, that they could really through mobile create a better patient experience. And so what we looked at as an example is it’s a big commitment if you are a parent to take off work or if you have multiple children, maybe schedule daycare and that’s a cost, then take your child who’s sick, which is a stressful situation both for the parent and for the child. Maybe it’s a scary thing to go to the hospital for your child. So it’s a difficult process to get them in the car and make that journey there. In a lot of hospitals, especially children’s hospitals, have valet services and almost no patients know that. And so being able to have your phone and say as you pull up a valet is available, just pull upfront we’ll take care of you with a really empathetic message. Well, what have we done there? We’ve proven to the parent that we care, that we have a service to make their life easier and already a stressful situation. For the hospital, we’re reducing maybe 15 to 20 minutes that was lost in being and having to find a parking spot that maybe was the wrong parking complex across on campus. And now they’ve got to bring their child across campus to get to the right appointment.

Jonathon Hensley:
So not only can we notify them about the valet service to support that and reduce that time cost, but we can also drive that empathy, and then we can use that technology to navigate them to their appointments to say, hey, your appointment is in 30 minutes if you need here your facilities. Here’s the paperwork that’s left. Here are these other touchpoints, depending on the status of your technology that’s supporting your hospital, what you can do. And I think that lens of looking at it that way is is really powerful for organizations.

Saul Marquez:
I agree. I totally agree, Jonathon. It’s you mentioned the valet and there are countless examples of untapped resources that are not being served in the right way. And I guess to use your vernacular that is not being productized. And so very, very fascinating thought process there. You were about to say something else, so I’ll let you continue your thought.

Jonathon Hensley:
Oh, I was just going to say, I think that one other thing that is really powerful as we think about this process is many, many times what we find where we need to start is just mapping the patient experience. Just what that journey looks like before a visit, during a visit, and after a visit? Because it’s again, I said it’s not linear and a lot of times are mapped as very linear processes. But if we understand the cycle they go through, what happens if a child is sick and then needs continuous care? Right now you’re in a loop of care and going through the system and maybe multiple providers, even from your pediatrician to maybe a specialist to getting tested for different reasons. So I think that one amazing thing that you can see, whether it can dramatically impact and improve the performance of a website or your productize mobile experience or many internal tools that are supporting the patient experience and supporting providers is really mapping things out. How does this really look and work? Many times organizational design over the last 70 years has kind of told us to silo, focus, and break into really small chunks. But we still need that big map and that’s really essential to understanding how all the things interconnect and unlocking the innovation and the opportunities that are in health care today.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, well said. Well said, Jonathon. And you certainly have me thinking about the business and how we could take this fresh approach and redo how we onboard people and introduce products to people. And so thank you for that. And I’m sure you’ve inspired our audience to think differently as well. As you’ve embarked on different projects with different clients or even your own business. What would you say is one of the biggest setbacks you’ve had and what did you learn from that?

Jonathon Hensley:
I think one of the biggest setbacks and this has been a hard lesson is the absolute necessity. If you’re going to embrace any kind of change like this, the importance of alignment. And what I mean by that is a lot of times, if you just look at the statistics, about eighty-four percent globally, digital transformation initiatives fail or underperform and we see.

Saul Marquez:
A big number.

Jonathon Hensley:
We spent years at Emerge looking at why that was, we talked to industry-leading experts from every industry to really understand why that happens. And it came down to this issue if there was a lack of alignment. And that is such an easy thing to happen within health care when you look at the sheer complexity and scale of providing care. So the.

Saul Marquez:
What does that exactly mean, Jonathon? Like lack of alignment.

Jonathon Hensley:
So when we talk about alignment, we’re talking about there’s there are four critical parts of alignment in an organization to drive change. The first is individual alignment. Do the people on the team know how their work matters? What’s the contribution that they’re making based on their expertise and their skills? The second is team alignment. Does the team are they aligned on the work that needs to be done, how they’re going to do it, and the outcome they need to achieve? And many times when we look at technology, there’s an emphasis on deliverables, there’s an emphasis on a timeline, our budget, and all of those things are important, but none of them matter if you don’t get to a positive outcome. And so we see that organizations and teams are stuck focused on deliverables and delivery instead of really focusing on the outcomes. And they lose sight of that through the process. And so that is really holding them back. And then they’ve spent a lot of money and a lot of time and they’ve fallen into that trap of that eighty-four percent. The third level of alignment is organizational alignment, meaning is your product or your idea. Let’s say your website .. really go back to that one, just as an example. Is it anchored to the purpose of the company or the organization? If it’s not anchored to your purpose and you do not have a clear strategy, it will never be as effective as you want it to be.

Jonathon Hensley:
You can’t drive results in so many, many times we’ll come in and the very first thing we have to do is map what’s currently happening so we can have a clear path to success going forward. But that’s rarely where the conversation ever starts. It’s also what happens is we come in and they say we need to improve patient engagement or we need to we want to engage more potential patients to come to our clinics and our hospitals. And it’s like, well, great, how do we but why and how will we do that? Well, that’s all has to be anchored to the values and the purpose behind the organization, how they’re going to support that community and what are the critical jobs that need to be done when they come to that website? Is it to find a physician? Is it to schedule an appointment? Can they provide those things? Are they overwhelmed with information? And so it really comes back to how do we align all of these pieces from the beginning so we can make authentic and meaningful connections with the community and with our patients at every stage of care delivery. And so that’s what I mean when I talk about alignment. And usually, those things are fragmented.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, and it definitely resonates. This idea of anchoring your asset, whatever it might be, a site, an app to your overall mission, your purpose, the values of your company. And then I love the visual, Jonathon, of the map creating that map that shows exactly what this thing should be doing. What is the critical job? And when you put it like that, I can see how something like this so purposefully done could be that much more effective.

Jonathon Hensley:
It’s really powerful. Clay Christensen is the one that coined the phrase job to be done. He was a professor and consultant from Harvard University. And this just this idea, let alone of what’s the job of a website? What’s the most important job for your website to do? And then are there other jobs the website also needs to do is a totally different lens than saying we need to make sure that we have our name on the website and that every service area of our organization has the page that becomes about them and not about the page. We focus on the job. Then we reorient and we focus on the patient first. And that is always going to be to the benefit of the organization.

Saul Marquez:
And I love that. So, I really appreciate the example and you walking us through those different levels of alignment. What would you say you’re most excited about today?

Jonathon Hensley:
I think that those two things really that I’m extremely excited about and the first one is just personalization. I think the technology has now come to a threshold where we can start introducing a huge level of personalization, which will increase the connection as a patient goes through the care, getting care in will the net effect will be improved outcomes. And so I think that’s incredibly exciting. We can bring so much more through technology to the forefront for patients. And the other side of that is we ask so much of our nurses and our doctors, they are so busy in the administration that supporting them and how technology, if we look at that, we can be supporting them as well through that innovation. And I think that that intersection is one of the most exciting things of what is now possible with technology being implemented in the right way. So that’s really the thing I’m most excited about. The second part to that is it’s not going to sound super interesting to some, but is data management. I think we’re going to go from collecting data the way that we have and start to actually leverage that data more effectively where it doesn’t live in silos and so being able to see what innovations will come out of the next five to 10 years because of what people will start to unlock with data and other technologies, I think is also going to be absolutely game changing. And I’m really excited to see what comes from that.

Saul Marquez:
And definitely two very exciting things. And keeping our eye on those things is critical. And if you’re wanting to get a fresh approach to the things that you’re doing, certainly worth considering the work that Emerge does. You could find them at EmergeInteractive.com, where they check out their website. Is it passing the test that Jonathon is talking about? Is it doing the job? Jonathon, this has been super interesting. I’ve enjoyed our discussion and I know the listeners are probably jotting down notes as I am.

Saul Marquez:
Talk to us a little bit about what you want us to walk away with here and the best place where the listeners could get in touch with you or your team if they want to engage.

Jonathon Hensley:
So I would say for anybody listening, I really just want to impart the importance and the power of empathy and taking a patient-centric approach in looking at your digital as products versus just individual properties. That product approach can really be transformative. And so I’d really encourage everybody to think about that, especially with their website and their mobile applications that they’re working on in any type of internal tools or creating to support their teams. So you can come to our website and on our website, EmergeInteractive.com, there is an insight section, and inside that is a ton of resources around patient experience. And one thing that we talked a lot about today was empathy mapping. And there’s a great how-to article called How to Use Empathy Mapping to Create Better Digital Products and Services. And that’s something that you can do with your own teams or with patients and partners in the community. And so I would encourage anybody to go to the site and check those resources out.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, folks, it’s a really neat empathy mapping workshop guide. And we’ll leave a link there for you. You could download it. It’s a cool exercise for you to take and take a look at the entire workflow for your product and how exactly you’re connecting with your customer, with your patient, their feelings. It’s an empathy map. So great resource there. Really appreciate you sharing it with us.

Jonathon Hensley:
My pleasure. If they’re interested in talking more about these things, please come visit us at our website. We offer free consultations to anybody who wants to talk more about how they can re-evaluate their website if they’re frustrated with how the performance is going or looking to do something completely new. We love to talk about new ideas and how we might be able to support people. So please reach out to us and we can set up that time.

Saul Marquez:
And they would just go to EmergeInteractive.com for that.

Jonathon Hensley:
Yup. Just come straight to our website at EmergeInteractive.com and there’s a link at the top, says schedule a call. You can send us a note and we’ll get right back to you within twenty-four hours so we can get something on the calendar.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. Well, there you have it, folks. A great opportunity to take advantage of some thought leaders in digital transformation. Is your site doing everything that it should be doing? Are your online digital assets doing everything they should be doing? If you answered yes, you better think about that. And there’s an opportunity to go bigger and better. And so I want to thank Jonathon for what he’s done today to open up our minds to more possibilities. And Jonathon, just want to give you a big thanks.

Jonathon Hensley:
Thank you so much for having me on. The show is fantastic. And it’s an honor to be on it.

Saul Marquez:
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Things You’ll Learn

  • Technology is fundamentally changing the way that we live our lives day to day in the way that we work.
  • Empathy is not a soft skill. It’s one of the essential hard skills in health care and how it has been proven to drive better patient outcomes. When we take a product approach, empathy is at the heart of great product design.
  • If you’re going to embrace any kind of change like this, the importance of alignment.
  • Take a look at the importance and the power of empathy and taking a patient-centric approach in looking at your digital as products versus just individual properties.

 

Resources

https://www.emergeinteractive.com/

How to use Empathy Mapping to Create Better Digital Products and Services