I Design Teams Focused On Patients; I Don’t Do Boxes

I don’t build boxes. I design services for people diagnosed or impacted by cancer.

I had the chance to continue my discussion with the medical directors and the COO, CFO, and this time the CEO as well.

My opening comment was the following, “You have done great work selecting the box you want to build. You have a great list of the expensive boxes of technology that you want to purchase. But no offense, it’s still a bunch of boxes.”

I proceeded to say, “If you want technology, you need to prove to me that it will decrease the time from screening a patient–>to making the right diagnosis for a patient–>to getting a patient to their first treatment with the right treatment goals.”

If you can’t show me that it improves time and accuracy, then it is on the chopping block.

2 medical directors stood up and walked out. I assume they figure I won’t be around for a 3 rd meeting.

The executive team asked me to go a bit further. So I asked them to consider and think about this scenario:

What happens before a person is told that they have cancer? What happens after they hear the words, “You have cancer?”

On the front end there is usually a series of appointments, exams, phone calls, missed work, trips to and from, rearranging who is taking the kids, and a lot of anxiety.

Post hearing the word, “Cancer” and having a diagnosis, there are a lot of questions. A lot of confusion.  A lot of misinformation. A lot of emotions. A lot of anxiety.

Patients are standing at an intersection and all they see if this:

direction sign

I then asked, “Is the box and the decor inside of the box the most important criteria of success? Or is it allowing the patient to move through the system on a time frame that meets their needs?”

The COO jumped in and said that they have a process improvement team that can manage patient throughput and once the center is open, they can make adjustments.

I responded and said that is a waste of time and money. You only get one opportunity to make a first impression. Why not design something smart from the beginning?

I told them that this is not just about the core cancer services of treatment such as surgery, medical oncology, and radiation therapy. It is about the primary care physicians, the radiologists, the pathologists, genetic counselors, call centers, ancillary services. It is about the community resources, banks, churches, retail. It is about every single touch point working in unison to anticipate what the patient needs and deliver it exactly when it is needed.

It’s an ecosystem working together to provide the right care, at the right time, with the right amount of information to transform a patients journey into simplicity.


As a matter of fact, Peggyrcc (here blog is here) left me a comment that reiterated the above observations, “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.”

I told the medical directors and executives that if you want to truly build a cancer center, then build a box. If you want to build a cancer experience that will meet the needs of your patients, then design a cancer team.

The difference? A cancer center is a single stop. It is a box with a bunch of little boxes inside of it. It’s full of technology that is obvious, big, clunky, and noisy. Unfortunately patients have to stop there repeatedly.

A cancer team is focused on you. The team is with you during the journey. When people support you on a journey it creates an experience that is focused on your needs. This is why Disney is the Magic Kingdom.

It’s all about people. The technology should just melt into the background and enable a seamless experience for patients.

I write stories based on experiences during a cancer patients journey. It is not about my story. It is about helping a patient write their own personal story.

How they want to write it, when they want to write, and with all the necessary tools to write their story.

Patients shouldn’t need to think about paper, pens, pencils, laptops, desktops, adobe, wordpress, blogger, Facebook, editor, or even stone tablets.

I want patients to focus on writing the 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

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