This morning Dr. Joyce Lee (@joyclee) asked an important question via Twitter. How do we create solutions for health in new ways?
I have been thinking about this question myself over the past few months. I have the privilege of traveling all over the world and meeting with Ministries of Health, Medical Directors, Investors, Physicians, Patients, and all sorts of Healthcare Professionals.
I see some good things. I see some bad things. I see something I thought I would never see. I see people wanting to do the right thing, but being stuck in the minutia of day to day job duties.
I reflected on my own experiences. I have worked in hospitals, clinics, outpatient and inpatient, as a consultant, and on the industry side.
Then the epiphany hit. So I tweeted Joyce this response.
A product manager, sometimes referred to as the “CEO” of the product, is responsible for orchestrating the various activities associated with ensuring that a product is delivered that meets users’ needs.
A product has several stages in its own respective lifecycle. That lifecycle begins with the initial research and development of the product. As the product is then developed and ready to be introduced into the market place, it has to be strategically priced, placed, and promoted. This changes as the product continues to get older, the market changes, and new competition is introduced.
In the development of a product, product managers represent the needs of end-users. They understand market trends and competition, and uses this information to determine what features to build. For example, a product manager may decide a feature is needed because users are asking for it, or because the feature is needed to stay competitive. The product manager also ensures an atmosphere of cohesiveness and focused collaboration between all the members of the team, all in the interest of driving the product forward. Product managers are often thought of as sitting at the intersection of business, design, and technology.
This is what healthcare is all about in my experience. The “challenge” is that unlike most businesses, healthcare has to manage both the business-2-business (B2B) and the business-2-consumer markets. (B2C)
Healthcare goes through a lot of initiatives. It can be process improvement, chief experience officers, patient safety, patient experience, or a number of other “fad” labels that a consultant may define for an organization.
However, if healthcare started to think in terms of the “products” they produce and incorporated the trends in the market place, competitive intelligence, the needs of the end users, and managed the collaboration of the stakeholders then perhaps our ability to move focused, faster, cheaper would be attainable?
Product managers have to make choices. You have a set budget, finite number of resources, timelines, and you have to decide what is in and what is out based on your end users.
In the next coming days I will begin to post some of my own stories in being a “product manager” in healthcare building several cancer centers, a few hospitals, and service lines.
As always, you can feel free to contact me at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM or follow me on twitter @cancergeek
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