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Patient Safety Through Smart Community Building with Roni Zeiger, CEO Smart Patients and Patient Safety Group

Roni Zeiger, CEO Smart Patients and Patient Safety Group

Patient Safety Through Smart Community Building

“Spend more time with the people you’re serving and find tune the direction you’re heading in”

Patient Safety Through Smart Community Building with Roni Zeiger, CEO Smart Patients and Patient Safety Group

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Patient Safety Through Smart Community Building with Roni Zeiger, CEO Smart Patients and Patient Safety Group

Hey Outcomes Rocket friends, thanks for tuning in to the podcast once again. As a leader in health care, you have big ideas, great products, a story to tell, and are looking for ways to improve your reach and scale your business. However there’s one tiny problem. Health care is tough to navigate and the typical sales cycle is slow. That’s why you should consider starting your own podcast as part of your sales and marketing strategy. At the Outcomes Rocket, I’ve been able to reach thousands of people every single month that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to reach if I had not started my podcast. Having this organic reach enables me to get the feedback necessary to create a podcast that delivers value that you are looking for. And the same thing goes if you start a podcast for what you could learn from your customers. The best thing about podcasting in healthcare is that we are currently at the ground level, meaning that the number of people in healthcare listening to podcasts is small but growing rapidly. I put together a free checklist for you to check out the steps on what it takes to create your own podcast. You could find that at outcomesrocket.health/podcast. Check it out today and find a new way to leverage the sales, marketing and outcomes of your business. That’s outcomesrocket.health/podcast.

Welcome back once again to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we chat with today’s most successful and inspiring health leaders. Today I have the outstanding Dr. Ronnie Zeiger. He’s the CEO at Smart Patients and Patient Safety Group. Dr. Zeiger is the former Chief Health Strategist at Google where he led efforts ranging from Google Trends to symptom search. In 2012, he and Gils Friedman founded Smart Patients, an online community where patients and caregivers learn from each other about treatments the latest science and how it all fits into the context of their experience. As we know the health system can be very opaque and solutions such as these are providing patients with what they need to have their own concierge and medicine understand where they’re going. Ronnie serves as the CEO of Smart Patients and continues to see patients in the urgent care clinic at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. So it’s a true pleasure to have you on the podcast, Roni.

Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Absolutely. So I’m always curious you know people that are doing outstanding things in health care what the genesis of it all was. What made you get into health care to begin with?

It was a little bit accidental. I was always into science and thought I would be a scientist. During college I spent a lot of time working in labs and while intellectually it was really interesting it was also a little bit isolating from a social perspective and I kind of wanted a way to combine science and people. I was very lucky to grow up bilingual. My family is originally from Chile. Oh yeah. And so I took a job as a volunteer a job as an interpreter in a clinic near where I went to school. And it was tons of fun to be involved in those conversations and I saw that as a really fun potential career path as well. So it wasn’t too hard I had done a lot of the same classes that I needed to do for her premed so kinda actually last-minute changed from molecular biology to go to medical school.

Wow. Outstanding. And yeah I mean it’s close enough so that you didn’t really have to make any drastic changes. Kind of parlayed really nicely huh.

Yeah yeah it was, it was lucky an easy switch that worked out great for me.

That’s awesome. Now have you been to Chile lately?

I have. I go every few years actually going this December.

Oh you are?

To spend some time with my 98 year old grandma.

Oh my gosh 98 huh.


That’s amazing. Good for you and good for her that she’s taking care of herself. Hopefully she’s doing well.

She’s doing amazingly well.

That’s awesome man. Yeah. Chile is one of those countries that is super progressive and in their sort of healthcare technology adoption. I covered Latin America for a while. My folks are actually from Mexico so I got a chance to experience Chile. And yeah I mean they’re just forward thinking, moving in this space so fascinating. For those of you that don’t consider these country is if you’re looking to expand your technologies and your business, Chile is definitely one that you should keep on your radar.

Thank you.

Right. So what would you say Roni is that hot topic that needs to be on every medical leaders agenda today?

So many ways to potentially answer that question. So this depends a little bit on on the space that you’re in. Two things come to mind: One is learning from your end users you know that could be your patients or the patients using your system that could be the clinicians and other staff that are interacting the tools or services that you’re bringing but have been supposedly practicing and definitely preaching concepts of user centered design for a long time. But I still kind of suck at following them myself because I regularly fall into the trap of thinking that the ideas that are making come up with or are the right ones because you know we’re good at what we’ll do usually. But you have to get reminded of the humility that the reality that you know we never get things right the first time iteration is required and there’s no smarter people on the planet than those on the front lines of whatever it is that you’re trying to search. So building feedback loops and spending time with folks who are using your tools are the folks at your serving. There’s no substitute for that. So I try to ask the question like no what have we learned from our patients today or what have we learned from our users today or what have we learned from the leaders that we’re supporting today. Because if it’s something that we’re only doing like once a quarter that’s more than most of us. So it is one thing. The other is more about kind of at a philosophical level. And that is making sure that you and your team are really excited about the direction you’re heading in. And that’s a tough one because if you’re not then your options are not necessarily easy. But I think for a long term successful for you as an individual and for the team that you’re leading if you’re not excited about what you’re doing then you you don’t need to sort of fine tune what you’re doing or do something dramatically different.

That’s an interesting point, Roni and so as you dive into that I mean if you are not you know what are the risks and if you’re not how can you pivot maybe you can dive deeper into that.

Well it’s interesting I hadn’t thought about it before until right now but I think those two ideas are pretty related. One of the things that can get me really excited is spending more time with with the individuals actually sometimes spending more time with people and less time with software even though those are my kind of stuff building software. Visiting partners spending more time with clinical staff and with patients. I get to see patients but that’s very part time and that’s wearing a kind of a different hat so to me a lot of it stems from interpersonal relationships whether that’s with a patient, a colleague, a partner, a customer because people are quite inspiring and in healthcare we have this ridiculous privilege where most people go into healthcare go into it because they’re excited about helping others and so that kind of breeds a lot of that energy that we can tap into. So I think maybe when you’re feeling a little lost or inspired or like “Gosh am I really doing what I’m supposed to be doing?” spending more and more time with the people that you’re working you or that you’re serving especially the ones that you don’t get to interact with regularly is effective and inspire often inspiring way of kind of finding more energy which in turn will help you fine tuning out the direction that you’re heading in.

I think that’s such a great great highlight and it’s really interesting that you guys have decided to focus on this segment. You know the patient segment frankly the health care really the economic business models don’t help companies focus on this space but you and your partner have really done a great job. And folks if you haven’t checked out the site it’s https://www.smartpatients.com/ one of the areas that I found most interesting Roni was the communities and all of the things that you guys focus on. I mean it is just so many things that I mean whatever your condition or area that you’re in there’s something there a community. And so I’d love if you could just share with the listeners how these communities have led to outcomes improvements or better care journey for her patients.

Sure. So I think there’s two very interestingly different chapters in the story from certainly from a business perspective. So building community in general and building communities for patients is incredibly satisfying and nurturing work and at least doing it the way that we want to do it is not a huge business today. There are not a lot of business models where we can charge significant sums for connecting patients to other patients. This is something that kind of is thought of as something well yes sure. That just happens. You know maybe in the neighborhood and we can facilitate it happening online. We’re not an advertising platform or a clinical trial recruitment platform and those are two common business models. Nor are we doing kind of data mining and selling aggregate data. None of those things are necessarily bad. We’re continuing to work hard to align the service that were building the fundamental value that we think we’re building which is really the ability to learn from each other whether it’s patients learning from each other or others which I’ll get to a second. But this is still a very new idea in healthcare. One of my personal goals with all of this is to make peer support that the thoughtful and well managed connection of one patient to another family member to another it’s a normal part of our health care system. So getting for example health systems to prescribe peer support is something that we’re working hard on and we’re making progress and it’s super slow because it’s a cultural change. So it’s not the “Oh yeah we’re going to have you know 500 million users in 18 months” story. So an interesting thing that’s happened that’s been just a huge stroke of luck because it wasn’t it wasn’t really planned. Is that as we’ve worked with health systems to help them provide their patients with a safe trusted and well managed option for peer support as opposed to the Wild West that is stereotypically East face. We started getting a really interesting question from them which is “Hey now that we understand how this works, it’s good that this is an option for our patients – What about us? What about nurses who are also sometimes struggling with various issues?” Different from you know of course sometimes we all of us or sometimes patients. But you know we have very now we have a bunch of other issues that we deal with at work and peer support this is kind of an untapped resource for us too. So that’s led to the more recent chapter of our work. We actually acquired a smaller company an even smaller company where she’d say called the Patient Safety group about a year ago. We’ll be relaunching that actually before the end of this year. Haven’t really formally announced it but it’s also not a secret and there we’re using a lot of the same social engineering tools and a lot of the same software tools to support clinical staff. And that includes not just here support but also doing more quantitative measurement of things like things related to safety and quality. So we kind of back to it or into another portion of our business which customers the same. It’s the health care system. But now instead of having to invent a brand new category which is peer support invented from a business perspective and peer support is not a new thing it probably existed before organized medicine. Right. And the way normally support each other as humans. Now we’re doing that for patients. We’re starting to do that for our health system staff and we’re doing it in a context that directly supports safety and quality both for patients and employees and using our social engineering and tools to do that in a way that’s growing our business nicely and in a way that we’re excited about.

I think that’s so cool Roni that just one of the quotes that I heard back in the day it was like 12, 14 years ago was like the best way to succeed in business is to be in business and you can’t spend your time at the drawing board. You’ve got to get out there and and this is a great great example of that you guys went out with a solution providers started noting and the other thing too. I think it’s really great. I mean so many people go to the Web and they search their condition and then they find all of these things that scare them or mislead them. I think it’s great that health systems are looking to you guys for a more organized credible way to to inform patients. How do you guys monitor what’s being put out there and that out. What is good versus bad or do you guys not do that?

Yeah. It’s a rich question. So we do very short answer and then I’ll dig in a bit deeper. I think sometimes people kind of imagine that there’s two possibilities one it is a totally kind of unmonitored system – whatever happens happens. Then the other is which of course has its pros and cons you know good things will happen and bad things will happen there. And then the other would be a system where basically there are only clinical experts answering questions kind of more of an official Q&A. And in healthcare, we traditionally have been very uncomfortable with the first one because who knows how people might hurt each other. Browning around knowing me and we’re very comfortable with the “well let’s just make sure that it’s only valid qualified legitimate experts answering people’s questions so that people get the right information and no one is hurt and no one gets blamed for someone getting hurt”.


There’s a really a spectrum between those two and we’ve landed probably somewhere in the middle. It’s a little bit hard to to describe exactly where we are in that continuum. But first of all there is a belief we have a belief that peers are a very useful source of both emotional support and information. Doesn’t mean that everyone is providing sort of accurate and it was going to provide accurate information. Quick sidebar academically at least I think that’s a really interesting question to consider. What percentage of the information that we provide as clinicians is accurate? I struggle with that myself because I don’t know what I don’t know but that’s a separate there’s probably a whole separate podcast.

It is.

So that’s more just a discussion point that there is no perfect gold standard story. There’s this beautiful medium that you can find where a very small amount of consistent thoughtful gardening if you will can make a community very high quality. So for example maybe one out of a few hundred people are potentially going to screw up a community by being rude by having an agenda. It’s really their own agenda not my agenda that serving anyone else in the community by posting misinformation. And it turns out with a pretty modest amount of consistent monitoring which we do both automatically and with what people. It’s quite easy to ensure that those people don’t disturb the community. It takes work but it’s actually not that much work. So those for this kind of a step function where the free for all that we imagine is I agree not good enough but it’s pretty modest and therefore pretty inexpensive amount of work to make it a really thoughtful well managed community and that does not mean that my team is kind of the owners of truth. We have a pretty complex social engineering process with some software tools that makes it so that consistently the community is the one that questions things that are questionable. So it’s not you know me sitting there saying “hey guys there’s a potential piece of incorrect information here” that we are watching and we do occasionally get involved. But really the vast majority of the time it’s someone else in the community saying “Hey Joe welcome. And I’m concerned about what you said here and here’s why can you say more about where you learned that?” And so that’s built into the culture. So it’s a little bit complex but it’s probably easier than you would think. And it’s really interesting that it’s actually scalable.

Fascinating. Very fascinating. Thank you for diving into that. I was just kind of want to know more or less how that was laid out and makes a lot of sense. It sounds like it started in a piece together quite nicely. People are getting a lot out of it. So can you give us maybe a story about how this is resonating with patients? Maybe a positive outcome that happened or just something that that came out of this has come out of it so far.

Well gosh so many I’ll answer with something that I just saw yesterday. I mean it’s a tiny one I’m sure we could find many many others but we have a mechanism by which a member of a community can invite someone they know to join smart patients. Actually I’m going to give you too. So there is basically an invite to a friend or invite a loved one feature and one of the regular sources of joy for me is because I’m an admin, I see when someone invites someone else and they have the option of including a personal note along with the invitation to say like “hey here’s one to check this out” or something like that.

Oh, nice.

And one of those that happened yesterday someone wrote a note to her daughter I think it was an adult daughter saying “hey a lot of the questions that you’ve been asking me about Dad I think that you’ll find useful answers to them here. – Love, Mom”.

And that was a very you know the specific context it happens to be with that about a narrow degenerative disease, a disease similar to Alzheimer’s. The specific kind of clinical context didn’t matter to me quite as much as I.. like you know I can for personal reasons can very much resonate right now with struggling with illness of a parent and I have a bunch of advantages like my clinical background etc. But imagining that someone is able to help her daughter understand what’s going on with the dad is just awesome. I don’t really know what the outcome is so I don’t know whether it turned out to be actually useful but just being able to offer that hopefully peace of mind to the mom is really cool.

Yeah. Yeah. Being able to facilitate that.

Yeah and of course it’s not us doing that right. It’s the community. It’s the fact that there are other people sharing with each other gave the mom in this case the feeling that would be helpful to her daughter. And presumably it’s being helpful to the mom because she’s hanging out in the community too.


And then what should seem like maybe a totally different story is that I think that there’s some exciting connections. So we do now with our work with health care staff through the Patient Safety Group or division or business. We do a lot of surveys of staff and some of them are required surveys like for joint commission accreditation a patient safety culture serving that needs to be done with the step or two years to measure your safety culture. And we recently did a quick experiment. We snuck in one extra question into the required survey and the question was “What is something that recently inspired you at work?”.

That’s a nice question.

Yeah I think so. I’m a little biased. In a couple days, we’ve got thousands of responses. This is a big health system where we posed this question and the range of answers is just awesome. First of all the motivation for asking the question is what is inspiring us to do our work in health services system and how can we make those inspiration’s a more regular part of our day. Not that anything new. This is already happening. It’s just about you know maybe how can we expose people more to those things that inspired them. And it ranged from the case it ranged from things like my sister is from a physical therapist who said you know my patient and tie her own shoes now.


To a staff member who said who was just amazed at how much people volunteered to work extra during a snowstorm to make sure that both patients and staff were safe and had rides home and have food. So it’s just a lot of those kind of small things that maybe you aren’t necessarily headline worthy in the traditional sense.


But I think both of those stories the mom who said “Hey daughter here’s some stuff that hopefully will help answer some of the questions you have about what dad and we are going through” and then the staff members who are talking about what’s inspiring them to me these are great examples. This isn’t like you know none of these things are going to create patents or they’re not like traditional biomedical technology but it’s just low hanging fruit that I think and easily double or triple the value and quality of what we’re doing if we tap into it.

I think that’s so cool and the inspiration that human connection is really a big part of what we can definitely use more of in the healthcare sphere a had about a year ago. Ronny I had Nick Nick Adkins you know the pink socks movement guy Yeah he’s doing some great things more so I’m kind of like just giving hugs and handing the pink socks out reminding people to be present and show that they care. And you know this kind of gives me the same type of vibe except it’s a little bit more data driven and community based. But it’s great to have this focus and says as you and your partner have been working on these wonderful initiatives can you share a time during this process that maybe you had a setback and something that you learned from that setback that as a result you’re doing things very differently.

There’s probably like a thousand answers to that question and I think of a of recent one

one that strikes you the most.

Yeah. So one that’s top of mind these days perhaps because some of the things that are going on in the country. So we have a disproportionately white user base. OK. And that correlates with also it correlates pretty well with the demographics of people who are online in general but even a little bit even a little bit more so. So we were told slightly higher than average economic status of our user base and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, that’s not necessarily a good thing. So we did a couple of focus groups in the last year with some academic collaborators with African-American patients and family caregivers and to try to be very very open ended way to ask questions about their healthcare experiences – what kind of tools they use, they need. And while what I was expecting to get out of that was things like you know having a more diverse looking set of people on the home page and not only something as superficial as that but that’s that’s one of the things that I would have hypothesized was was going to come out of that ended up being a set of conversations about much deeper trust issues in the healthcare system and in our community in general. And I’m not answering your question quite the way I think you intended because.

No but it’s an interesting discussion though.

Yeah. Because I don’t know yet what we’re going to do differently as a result. We’re still chewing on it. But it was definitely a kind of a big learning and humbling experience that we’re not even sure if we’re asking the right questions to help us serve the broader population that we like to serve. It’s sort of like you know we asked you know how would you like us to, how might we change our tools. And the response was I’m not sure if we would go to you for any tools.


Not that there’s anything wrong with you Roni or you Smart patients in this case this is patients taking patients facing as opposed to their clinician and staff facing patient safety. That is one of those where we’re I think some of our most fundamental assumptions need to be challenged and I think what we what we need to do is take a step back and even ask questions like What’s the difference between online peer support and in personal peer support.

That’s where my mind was going. Yeah.


And community clinics and things like that. Yeah.

And what happens in the neighborhood in the apartment building versus in the clinic versus in the church and who asks who and who’s willing to ask him for example. You know one of the anecdotes from those that of discussions is that for the person answering she answered No. In my culture and she wasn’t pretending to speak for all African-Americans or anything like that. But in my community we keep this stuff to ourselves. Now this is nobody else’s business. So your premise of reaching out to someone who’s been there is something that I’m not totally comfortable with. So just fascinating side of learning which which to me you put it certainly in a way is a setback because it means we’re not very close to solving that one. But also it is really exciting because it means we have to get I think more thoughtful and creative about how we support people.

Yeah that’s really interesting you know and and maybe the angle is hey you don’t have to share what you could consume and that’s ok too long as you get what you need from this.

That’s a great point. That’s a great point and that’s a good I think not to the reality of most online communities. It’s not quite as extreme in health as it is in non health communities but even in our communities the active participants who are posting far outnumber the active participants who are reading.

In general or in health care or…

So this is very true in general and it’s still significantly true although not quite as extreme in healthcare.


And focused. So it still follows the same kind of thing that we often hurting in elementary school which is if you have a question please ask because there’s probably five other people…

There you have it. Yeah. Wow. So interesting and definitely an interesting challenge to tackle. And I think answers ahead. So I think thank you for sharing that and it’s it’s always interesting to sort of test these assumptions. One of my favorite anecdotes is- Assume you me there’s a you and me and there’s an ass at the beginning.


It can make an ass out of you and me and so it’s always great to question those things and you guys are doing it so thoughtfully. So kudos to guys.

We’re getting there.

For sure. What would you say one of your proudest moments to date has been wit- it could be with you know with this business or your time at Google whatever whatever strikes you.

Two come to mind. One is a long time ago and one is really recently. So one a long time ago when I was at Google I got to work on some wonderful projects some of which didn’t have the light of day and some of which didn’t. Which is as it should be I think if you don’t work on some things that aren’t working you’re probably not taking big enough rest. But the absolutely simplest thing I ever got to do at Google was also probably the most impactful thing maybe that I have maybe that I will have done in my whole career. We got a message from Will user actually pretty hard to sound like a customer support message to Google. But if you’re persistent you can figure it out and follow this message across my desk with said “Hey Google this morning my daughter swallowed something poisonous and I went straight it was piped in poison control phone number and I couldn’t find the number. And you guys get better.” Fortunately her daughter was OK.

That’s good.

And it’s true that it was hard to find that kind of number quickly. So we did a bunch of thinking about you know how do we do this at scale and for different situations and different regions and languages. But we agreed that that in the meantime while we figure out how to do it sort of the Google way really really well and in a way we would do a little bit of a hack which said you know hey if someone types in poison control or a variant of that and they’re in the US just put the red phone icon at half of the page and say in the case of poisoning an emergency call this number and probably in the end but just you know just a couple of weeks of work and in the first week of that being launched and still live you know that touched more people than by a couple orders of magnitude that I will see in my whole clinical career.


So just from a scale perspective that was awesome and it wasn’t you know that’s obviously has much to do with the reach of Google that has to do with me being.


It was nice to help make that happen and then much more recently. This is a patient safety group work. I’ve been talking to senior executives to help them analyze the comments that were there from the anonymous comment that the front frontline staff share when they do their annual Culture Survey. And traditionally well stereotypically and I think quite commonly this kind of data especially the messy anecdotal data that’s not this time draftable gets overlooked because you know. Well you tell us if there’s something egregious that we need to be aware of. What maybe suggest a liability. I’ve had a lot of fun in the last several months having conversations with healthcare system leaders to help them see what comments from their frontline staff as the raw materials for their next best innovations and things ranging from sophisticated pipeline for tracking for quality improvement all the way to super mundane things like “Hey let’s make it safe for patients and employees to cross the street from the parking lot to the hospital.” And it’s sometimes the really simple things that we don’t take the time to think about because we’re thinking about you know “CEO level” quote unquote “CEO level solutions”. So kind of connecting healthcare leadership to the raw materials that it’s it’s actually not that hard to get from from frontline staff has been probably the most recent from.

That’s awesome. Now it sounds like you’re getting some key insights and these little wins you know folks and think about all the things that you’re focused on. Ultimately it’s got to resonate with the people that you’re working to inspire the people that you’re working to help feel better. So great. Great point here Roni. So tell us a little bit about an exciting project. I know you’re working on over there but if you had to come up with one that you want to highlight here maybe it’s highlighting it again and going a little bit deeper. Or maybe it’s something that we haven’t talked about yet.

So one that I think we’ve touched on super briefly but I’m really excited about it and it is still a still pretty new for us is adapting the peer support model that we’ve developed over that we’ve been sort of refining over six years for patients and adapting it to clinical and at first glance that looks like perhaps unexpected thing to do because when we talk about peer support in healthcare we think about someone who’s got a diagnosis or a loved one has a new diagnosis or is about to undergo a stere procedure. But it’s actually pretty generalizable to different kinds of health related stresses and opportunities for support. And as we’ve started prototyping and designing with a lot of our health system partners with several of our health system partners we’re building our initial version of peer support systems for staff or nurses physicians and others. And it’s exciting for a couple of reasons one is it’s hard. It’s different than your support for patients and families. It’s also remarkably similar. So while in one case the context might be the diagnosis of cancer. And in another context on the other side the context might be I lost a patient today or I am so stressed and tired because I spent my whole day caring for patients and then I go home and I have to care for my aging parent or my sick kid.


And you know I’m only getting paid for one full time job but I have at least two and I don’t know how long I can do it. These are really different situations. But a lot of them magic I think we can tap into is the same. Because it’s about asking around in a thoughtful way and saying to people hey are you going through some stuff that where you think it might be helpful to talk to someone else in a safe private way and then asking other people or even some of the same people Hey we’re going through this and do you feel like you’d be available to talk to someone who’s going through it now and that second part is actually probably maybe the most important secret sauce to community in general I think and that is that I think we’re wired to feel really good when we’re able to help others. And so I think you can define building community as simply making it easy for people to help others. So we almost want to do that. We don’t spend a lot of time doing it because we’re busy and because it’s not easy. Like a lot of us probably have conversations like oh I want to like volunteer for x y z sometime soon when I make time for it. If someone handed that opportunity on a silver platter to us those of us who are relatively well-off and have our basic needs be met Oh yeah I’d love to do that. So that’s kind of what I feel like this work is about. And in this particular case designing tools and workflows to make it easy for health staff to support each other is super exciting and I suspect if we do it right it will allow us to make those staff better off and therefore also make their patients better off. I know from my own experience that you know when I’m having lousy stuff going on in my personal life I’m probably doing less a good job with the patients I see.

For sure. It’s really great. Yeah I think this is definitely exciting. And the amount of people you can touch through touching clinicians just expands exponentially. Know for every one clinician that takes care of say a thousand patients a year you’re helping millions of people.

Ideally yes that would be awesome.

I love it. Well Roni you guys are definitely up to some great things getting close to the end of our time together here. Well maybe we’ll have to do a part two to this one. Let’s pretend you and I are building a medical leadership course on what it takes to be impactful in medicine today. It’s the one on one of Dr. Roni Zeiger. So we’re going to write a syllabus for questions lightning round style followed by a book that you recommend to the listeners. You ready?


All right. What’s the best way to improve health care outcomes?

I have no idea. Quite a massive question. No I have, I do have an answer. Pick one outcome to focus on at a time.

Love it, what’s the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

One that I’m really worried about is falling in love with a number because we can measure it without being sure that it’s measuring something that really matters.

How do you stay relevant as an organization despite constant change?

Stay really close to your users.

What is one area of focus that drives everything and in your organization?

I mean so my daughter was at our office the other day and she wrote on our white board – build meaningful connections. That’s something that she’s thinking she she just started high school and that’s something she’s thinking about. And that’s what she thinks what we’re doing. So it’s a hard one to measure but it certainly what drives us.

Love that man. And that’s that’s a big part of what we’re doing here at the outcomes rocket and that truly resonates and makes an impact. What would you say your favorite book is?

So a book that I’ve been recommending a lot in the last couple of years related to many of the things that we’ve been talking about. It’s called Reinventing Discovery. It’s by really smart scientists journalist type named Michael Nielsen and reinventing Discovery is mostly about the ways that human networks are changing the way we do science. I just think it’s a little bit about kind of crowdsourcing meets science in a super interesting and challenging way. It certainly has an influence the way I see the untapped power of people and getting things done when we get smarter about connecting with those people.

What a great recommendation Roni. And folks if you want a link to this book, transcript and the show notes for everything that we’ve been discussing just go to outcomesrocket.health/zeiger as in Dr. Zeiger and you’ll be able to find everything there. Roni before we conclude I’d love if you could just share a closing thought and then the best place for the listeners could interact with you or your company.

Closing thought. No pressure. I would say at the end of each day and this is advice for me as much as anyone else but at the end of each day let’s think about something that inspired us so that we don’t lose the opportunity to feel good and reflect on that and then also some things that challenge us in particular – from a user of product or service that we’re focusing on getting in touch with me is pretty easy. I’m on Twitter a fair amount and also happy to receive email via roni@smartpatients.com

Outstanding. There you have it listeners. Roni Zeiger with Smart Patients. It’s been such a pleasure to dive into the efforts that you guys are going through and really excited to see where you guys take things here with the newest innovations. So Roni a big thank you to you for spending time with us today.

Thanks for having me.

Hey Outcomes Rocket friends, thanks for tuning in to the podcast once again. As a leader in health care, you have big ideas, great products, a story to tell, and are looking for ways to improve your reach and scale your business. However there’s one tiny problem. Health care is tough to navigate and the typical sales cycle is slow. That’s why you should consider starting your own podcast as part of your sales and marketing strategy. At the Outcomes Rocket, I’ve been able to reach thousands of people every single month that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to reach if I had not started my podcast. Having this organic reach enables me to get the feedback necessary to create a podcast that delivers value that you are looking for. And the same thing goes if you start a podcast for what you could learn from your customers. The best thing about podcasting in healthcare is that we are currently at the ground level, meaning that the number of people in healthcare listening to podcasts is small but growing rapidly. I put together a free checklist for you to check out the steps on what it takes to create your own podcast. You could find that at outcomesrocket.health/podcast. Check it out today and find a new way to leverage the sales, marketing and outcomes of your business. That’s outcomesrocket.health/podcast.

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