A Non-Fat, No Whip, Venti Healthcare Opportunity


Earlier this week I was working remotely and decided to work from a near by Starbucks. As I met with people from Israel, India, Europe, and the US over the phone and laptop, I noticed something unusual going on in front of me.

The group of people in the picture were actually from Starbucks Corporate and are responsible for the design of the store. I muted my line and began to observe their conversation and interactions.

They ordered something from the barista. As they waited for their specific beverages they were talking, writing notes, sketching, and taking pictures.

They walked outside, around the building, and and were counting the number of steps it took from several parking spaces to the curb, how high the curb was, and then the number of steps from the curb to the front door.

They opened the door and looked at the ceiling, the door handles, and the floor. One comment was that the finish on the door handle was wearing off. It needed to either be refinished, or maybe find a better handle that will wear better.

One person began sliding their feet as they walked. They hit a snag in the floor. He got down on all fours and began to use his hands to feel the difference between one tile and the other adjacent tiles.

The taller gentlemen reached up on top of the shelving units and was surprised to have a hand full of dust. He also rearranged some of the boxes of their K-Cups so that when the boxes were placed side by side, the two boxes would join together and make a single larger Starbucks logo. He wrote a few notes.

They began to discuss the chalk like art work on the back wall behind me. They were taking notes on how well it stilled looked, the height of the wall, and that it was slightly too low because as I sat there I was blocking the mural for those standing in line.

The female came over to me and asked me how I felt about the lighting. I told her that I appreciated the natural light from the windows, but that it got dark pretty quick once they had more than 2 cars in line waiting to order coffee’s. I told her that I enjoyed the “throwback” light bulbs that burned in the fixtures above my head and how the glow complimented my seat cushion. She smiled. She jotted more notes.

I rejoined my call and continued to observe their actions and attention to details.

I was reminded of why I pay $4 for coffee when I can get similar and sometimes better coffee someplace else for a 1/4 of the price.

I do not buy coffee, I buy a feeling.

Starbucks makes me feel a particular way that no other coffee house makes me feel. That is why I keep going back to Starbucks.

I view the world of healthcare with a similar lens. It is about the senses. The sight, touch, taste, sound, and smells. It is about the time. It is about the people.

Call it patient experience. Call it design thinking. Call is what you like…

The opportunity for healthcare organizations and clinicians is to understand how people want to use healthcare…not just when they are patients, but further upstream when people are active participants in their every day lives.

That’s the problem I enjoy defining and answering inside of healthcare.

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



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