APHM 2017: Collaborate with competitors for better patient-focused service

August 8, 2017

The healthcare industry should emulate the airline industry in collaborating with competitors and working together for the benefit of the patient, said Mike Wagner, executive director and chief teaching officer of The Advisory Board Company, at the APHM 2017 conference and exhibition held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from July 25 to 27.

The airline industry before was very much like the healthcare industry today, he says. They both have similar business and social dynamics in terms of capital, workforce, and workflow.

When the airline industry underwent innovation, they changed their mindset, according to Wagner. Travel cost has decreased, quality of service was improved, and the accessibility of air travel has increased for passengers today.

This is because airline industry players work with their competitors to provide good service for its customers. One example of this is passengers being able to book a flight through KAYAK, a fare aggregator and travel meta search engine operated by The Priceline Group, and then flying and receiving their luggage with another company.

This collaboration between airline industry companies provides a greater scope of diversity for air travel passengers.

On the other hand, healthcare providers design systems that are provider-centric rather than patient-focused, Wagner says. Patients today are suffering due to expensive care and a crisis in accessibility when it comes to healthcare services.

In order for the healthcare industry to get big enough to deliver services that are more efficient and in a greater scale, industry players, partners, subsidiaries, vendors and competitors must all work together for the benefit of the patients.

“We need to adopt an ethic of sharing,” he says. “The healthcare industry should be collaborating with their competitors in order to become better competitors. We need to work together for the benefit of the customer,” he adds.

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