Your Cancer Center Is Just A Box, I Do Not Do Boxes

I had the opportunity to discuss the idea for a  new cancer center with a healthcare system. The team consisted of the CFO and COO, a couple of the medical directors, several VP’s from service lines, and the marketing team.

The team was very prepared and presented me with an amazing amount of information on the what, where, why for the cancer center. They had some very robust information on what was going on in their marketplace. What some of their competitors are trying to do with cancer care, and how a new cancer center built in the last 18 months has created the need for them to act accordingly.

Everyone had their list of all the inputs that they feel needs to be a part of the new cancer center. The technology, the specialists, the types of treatments. They even had a preliminary design that they had worked through with an expert architecture firm.

So I asked, why are you talking to me? It appears you know what you want, and have already made the decision on what you are going to do. So what do you need of me?

They responded, “Based on your expertise, does this make sense to you? Are we making the right decisions?”

I responded by drawing the following for them:

Slide1You have a structure with a bunch of things that you want to put inside of it. You have an idea of what is going on with other similar boxes. You know that there is another box in the community that is relatively new. It appears as if you have all spoken and have a direction of how it needs to look, feel, and be arranged.

My honest opinion is that I have NOT seen anything in this presentation that shows you understand how families, businesses, patients, and consumers of cancer services want to use your “stuff.”

The room went silent. I could tell I hit a nerve. I told them that what they have is very manageable, but it isn’t anything special. It’s a box. It has a bunch of things in it. Yet it is still a box. I don’t do boxes.

The beauty comes when you know why people walk through your front door. Where did they come from and where are they going next. It comes in having an intimacy in understanding how they think, feel, react, and what they expect from your services. It comes in anticipating their needs before it even comes up and delivering the content in a manner that is easy, simple, and available.

If that is what you want, then I suggest you scrap what you think you know, and begin with the people that matter the most, those that live in your community.

I may not get the chance to co-write this story. However, not all stories are meant for me to author. I have my own writing style. I often write outside the margins. It may even be unconventional.

However, I do not write for the masses. My stories are intended for those that want to serve the end user first, and figure out how to seamlessly integrate everything else in a simplistic experience.

I hope I get to help write a chapter 2 to this story.

As always, you can feel free to contact me at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM or follow me on twitter @cancergeek


#PtExp #PX #cancer #hcldr #hccosts #hcsm #stories #storytelling #lcsm #bcsm #hcmktg #mktg #storyteller #hcpt #consumerism #hcbiz #CX #UX #Bioethx #storyline #ContentMarketing

7 responses to “Your Cancer Center Is Just A Box, I Do Not Do Boxes

  1. In Simsbury CT, Hartford Hospital designed a cancer center with patient input. Dana Farber in Boston did the same. Result chemo room light and bright. Patient areas have windows and plants. Doc offices and admin offices are ones w/o windows!

    • That is awesome. Always good to have patient input. I was really pressing the team on nut just the box itself, but how do you begin to change the people to do things that patients want before they want it…in addition to the soft things as well. More to come……


  2. In her book “Different,” Youngme Moon introduces “heterogeneous homogeneity” or differences that are meaningless to consumers. This describes large healthcare systems. She argues that differentiation is not the offspring of competition, rather an escape from competition. Successful brands refused to be constrained by conventional wisdom and seek to engage consumers on a deeper level.

  3. I would love to hear about cancer centers, not on the basis of the look of the place, which is a reflection of some TLC to be sure, but on the basis of the quality of timely information to and from the patient to the providers. Good case in point; my ultrasound from yesterday included the above loveliness, but was highlighted by the ultrasound technician showing me what she was measuring, her immediate assessment of it, and bringing in the radiologist to discuss the meaning of the findings. More than the decor of the site, I am in NEED of that respectful and accurate information. That coordination and commitment of care to the patient is the unique offering.

    • Paul
      I am deeply humbled that you thought enough of my post to highlight it on your site. I have been following and reading your thoughts for quite some time. To have someone that I both admire and appreciate your views/insights notice me, allows me to know that I am directionally correct in the journey I am on.

      Again, thank you for acknowledging my post and for sharing it with others. I am humbled and thankful. I hope I get to meet you in person one day soon.

      Thank you

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