Why wouldn’t all constituencies in healthcare—
doctors, hospitals, employers, insurers,
pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies, etc.— join
forces to make the patient experience more pleasant,
maybe even a little fun? It’s in everyone’s best interest,
especially the patient’s.
How does it work? Here’s an example: you leave your
ophthalmologist’s office after your eye exam, and the
receptionist hands you a $10 Starbucks gift card and
says, “Enjoy! Courtesy of your health plan.” You enjoy
a latte on your way home. And you associate that
experience with the doctor visit.
How do you feel when your credit card company’s
online rewards mall lets you redeem points by
choosing a gift card to Williams-Sonoma or Barnes &
Noble? Cash back is boring: Williams-Sonoma is fun.
The key here is luxury over utility, and the ability to
Source: 2013 HealthPrize patient survey
You may be asking “But does this work the same way
in the more serious realm of pharmaceuticals?” Let
me answer that question with some of our findings.
First, here’s the problem the industry is facing:
year as a result of non-adherence globally—$188
billion in the U.S. alone
the drug or to follow instructions (source: WHO)
rejection in transplant patients
Additionally, chronic meds offer no short-term
benefits, unlike diet and exercise. So taking your
meds today but not tomorrow doesn’t do much good.
But we’re up against human nature (see “Take My
Meds? I’d Rather...” diagram, below).