By Patrick Creagh, Marketing Specialist
In 1973, amidst the thriving San Francisco music scene, a group of musicians from separate bands began playing music together. Though the group included members of already established acts like Santana and Steve Miller Band, this particular arrangement showed signs of promise. After eventually leaving their respective former groups, this so-called “Supergroup” began releasing records. They called themselves Journey and the rest is commercial music history.
The idea of the Supergroup is appealing because it suggests that the best players in a given genre (or industry) can raise the bar even higher by working together. In practice, however, history has literally and figuratively recorded dozens of failed attempts at this elusive combination. We’ve seen it happen in sports. We’ve seen it happen in healthcare. But this year, healthcare stakeholders will work harder than ever to come together and make something special.
Band members face countless conflicts of interest on the path to making a record. You know the clichés. The lead singer is a diva. The bassist feels neglected. The drummer has a drinking problem, and don’t forget about agents, managers, labels, and fans, each with their own desires. Consolidating so many visions is no easy task.
As a patient, provider, payer, or financial institution, I bet you’ve heard the clichés in healthcare too. Put simply, the patient wants more care, and everyone else wants more money. The thing to remember is that the best Supergroups, the Journey’s, Cream’s, and Foo Fighters’ of the world found a way to consolidate their objectives in a way that created timeless classics like “Sunshine of Your Love” and “Learn to Fly”.
What will it take to corral the talents of the top healthcare stakeholders for a harmonious healthcare system in 2015? Cover your ears, critics and cynics, because I’m about to reveal the blueprint for the ultimate Healthcare Supergroup:
Lead Singer: The Patient
2015 is a patient-centered year for healthcare and technology combined with current policy has empowered the patient to lead their band like never before. Each patient has a different voice, a different approach, a different vision when it comes to his or her healthcare. Of course, the singer of a Supergroup is nothing without his/her band creating the ultimate platform for exceptional performance. Therefore, we must not overshadow the patient or under-deliver on our respective roles.
Lead Guitar: The Provider
Providers are already rockstars; anyone who can shred cancer like Slash on “Sweet Child of Mine” can shut up and take my money any day of the week. But care delivery isn’t as simple as plugging in a guitar and turning the amp up to 11. When surrounded by subpar band members, an amazing guitarist’s talents are at risk to be wasted. In healthcare, that’s a matter of life and death. The band must mesh together for the guitarist to shine.
Bassist: The Payer
Almost always, we’ll find the bassist is most under-appreciated of the band. Take U2 for example, which is comprised of Bono, The Edge, and two other guys. Some bands will even try to tell you they don’t need a bass player. However, in the Healthcare Supergroup, every member is a rockstar. Payers add a groove that compliments the financial backbone of healthcare. Not to mention the bassist’s most important role is to mediate any conflicts between the singer and the guitarist, I think the parallel is pretty obvious.
Drummer: Financial Institutions and Healthcare Vendors
Drummers never get the respect they deserve, or so they will tell you. But the fact is, a rock band without drums is a bunch of discernable noise. And vice-versa. Drummers provide the beat that links the other instruments together, the driving rhythm that allows the guitars and singer to flow freely through complicated solos and key changes. The Healthcare Supergroup has multiple drummers, including EHRs, banks, payment platforms, and clinical intelligence software to name a few. We need all of these drummers to play to the same beat to keep the rest of the band in sync.
For sake of simplicity, this award-winning producer only created 4 imaginary roles for our Healthcare Supergroup. However, we are all instrumental in changing healthcare, whether you work as a musician, an agent, or even a fan. Our industry may not have the same amount of sex and drugs as rock and roll (healthcare has more drugs, obviously), but it’s an exciting time to be composing the future of care delivery with some incredible talent.
Finally, a word to the critics: Don’t Stop Believin’.