What is your business innovation
I love this story. If you watch Congress the number one hottest issue of contention is Obamacare. If you ask the business community their number one scourge right now I think 8 out of 10 business owners would say Obamacare. If you ask the public their greatest frustration it would be the cost of medical insurance and medical care. The healthcare industry, due to its high costs and confusion are making a lot of people unhappy and sick to their stomach.
When we are sick, how many of us like going to the doctors to wait in a room or emergency hospital room for a doctor? Sick people are all around us and who knows what else we’ll breathe or touch that can infect us with a new disease let alone make our current malady even worse.
When there is a problem, the capitalist system takes over and creates a solution. How’s this for a solution?
The solution is creative, relatively simple and oh so cost effective. Here’s the background. Vinny Catalano is an insurance agent and he’s also a sick health insurance agent who works at Arthur J Gallagher & Cos and wants to get well quickly and cheaply (don’t we all.) So here’s Vinny’s story in his own words.
So I remembered that last summer at Gallagher’s western regional meeting, our Anthem reps talked about their LiveHealthOnline program, a way to access a conversation with a doc immediately, via video chat…and I had a free coupon code to try. It’s not only an online program, but for larger employers, they can install an actual kiosk so members can access a video doc and poke and prod themselves with various devices.
So, I go to www.livehealthonline.com and register. It asked for my insurance info (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Gallagher’s administrator) and after I entered my ID, it validated my coverage on the spot. I then entered a code I had “LHOINTRODUCTION” and it took what would have been a $49 visit to FREE.
I entered a few details about my malady and I was then presented with about a dozen smiling docs to choose from that were “immediately available”. My eye gravitated to Dr. Michael Catalano for obvious reasons, so I clicked on him and in a few minutes, we were eye to eye, so to speak. He is a practicing internist in Boulder, Colorado.
After we discussed how we might be related (and it is likely we are!), he patiently discussed my (and my wife’s) symptoms, their causes, their potential treatments etc. In my case, the treatments were simple, but if more complex, he is able to prescribe medication or refer you to your primary care physician for follow up.
The visit lasted about 10 minutes and I was VERY satisfied. I got to talk to a real doc via video in English in the comfort of my home without any meaningful wait. For all practical purposes, had I been feeling a lot worse, I probably would have pushed to see my own doc, but for the easy stuff, this filled the bill quite well.
I’m glad Vinny is now well but here’s what caught my attention from Vinny’s article and that was how comprehensive his employer was able to use a little technology and come up with a new, innovative and I am sure, exceptionally cost effective solution to a problem.
If you own a business, what new and innovative ideas are you testing and deploying in your business? If you don’t yet own and operate your own business but are ready to jump in, do you have a new or better innovation that would make you a market leader with your business in your industry?
Where do you go to find these innovative ideas?
Ask your customers? Ask them what problem you are solving but could help them save time or lower costs to make your product or service just that much better? You may have an idea but don’t want to try it as it will cost you more money to implement. But ask your customers if they would be willing to pay more. Studies have proven that people buy differences and they are willing to pay for differences.
Innovative ideas will also come from your employees? They are busy solving problems for you each day and so it’s little to no stretch for them to have an idea of how to do something better. The biggest mistake employers make is not having a culture of excellence or a culture that welcomes and rewards innovative ideas. It is not complicated. It is a matter of the business owner leading and encouraging new ideas and change, putting in processes and procedures to measure and manage that change and providing rewards when good things inevitably happen.
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