When it comes to running a healthcare business, there’s something that must be reconciled: revenue can be increased by compromising on the care you provide.
If you’re not committed to awareness and ensuring that compromise isn’t acceptable, your decisions as a leader cascade down to product-level decision makers who themselves are making compromises in pursuit of achieving key results. It’s a slippery slope to questionable revenue. That’s why clear, company-wide policies should be in place to prioritize patient care.
Take our Symptom Checker, for example. It’s a self-guided tool parents can use to determine what actions to take for their kid to get the best care. Based on symptoms entered, recommendations vary from visiting an ER or an urgent care clinic like ours, or continuing care at home.
In our case, it would be easy to edit the decision tree to have more people end up in our urgent care. We could modify the logic and user experience to decrease the confidence of home care effectiveness. Combine that with an up-sell to book an appointment, and our daily visits and revenue go up.
We’re not just looking at a dashboard of metrics and conversion percentages. Those “numbers” are scared parents trying to care for the most precious thing in their lives. I myself am often that parent who’s afraid and in need of help. I understand deeply having the phone in one hand, in search of helpful information, and the keys in the other as you try to decide if it’s time to rush to the ER.
Prioritizing people over profits is not a shortsighted, socialistic ideal. If anything, it’s the most capitalistic way to think about your business because it forces you to make decisions at the greatest scale. If you make compromised decisions that negatively affect your patients, but increase short-term revenue, eventually you’ll run out of customers. If you’re building a company that won’t be around in a few years, you may justify that compromise for your own personal gain.
But that’s not the kind of business I’m running. Brave Care is my legacy. It will be a part of millions of children’s health and development for years to come. We think and build at that scale.
Dr. Corey Fish, my Cofounder and Brave Care’s Chief Medical Officer, has taken the Hippocratic Oath now known as The Physician’s Pledge. It’s an individual statement he made as a healthcare provider to prioritize his patients’ health above all else. As CEO, it’s possible that I could make business decisions that directly affect his ability to honor that pledge. We had that conversation on Day 1, and we worked together to ensure it would never happen.
Given the current COVID-19 circumstances—something that may dramatically affect the emotions and health of so many families—we want to share how we’re building a thriving healthcare company while prioritizing people’s health over profits. Our hope is that other healthcare startups and organizations will join us.
How to get involved:
We welcome conversation from all leaders in the health industry. If you’d like to contribute or collaborate, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We solemnly pledge to dedicate this company to the service of humanity.
The health and wellbeing of our patients, employees, and health partners will be our first consideration.
We will respect the autonomy and dignity of our patients, employees, and partners.
We will maintain the utmost respect for human life.
We will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing, or any other factor to intervene between our duty to hire the best and brightest individuals so that we may dutifully serve our patients.
We will respect the privacy of our employees and our patients.
We will operate with conscience and dignity in accordance with the highest standards of professionalism.
We will foster and honor the traditions of medicine while seeking to improve the practice and delivery of healthcare, and be forces for good in our professions and the world.
We will give our teachers, colleagues, partners, and students the respect and gratitude that is their due.
We will share our professional knowledge for the benefit of humanity and the advancement of healthcare.
We will attend to our own health, wellbeing, and abilities—and those of our families—in order to provide our services to the highest standard.
We will not use our knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties.
We make these promises solemnly, freely, and upon our honor.