We're happy to be joined by Brandon Maenius on Liftoff this week. He is the Director of Digital Health and Marketing at Baylor Scott & White Health.
Which begged the questions:
What is digital health?
How might we use digital solutions to help healthcare?
...and many other thought provoking questions you'll love to dig in to.
Follow Brandon: Here.
Find out more about Liftoff: Here.
Dec 22, 2020
What is Digital Health and Why Does it Matter? (w/ Brandon Maenius)
Full episode can be found here: https://www.bottlerocketstudios.com/liftoff
Welcome back to liftoff my name is Tony Daussat, and I am Peter Klayman.
So today is exciting. We have the director of digital health in marketing at Baylor Scott and White Health. This man is the man in his name is also really incredible. It's Brandon manias Brandon what's up.
Good morning. Good Good morning guys, how we doing on Tuesday early morning. We're kicking it rearchitecting Peter had his, his tea. He went for his nature walk or Peter my vocal warmup. His trill around going,
follow. You know, I'm hoping that you were doing some Ron Burgundy. A unique, New York, you know, some. Brandon, you have, I gotta watch that again. Yes, that's going to be my new interchannel spirit before we do with our recordings.
So Brandon, here we are. It's 2020, there's some kooky stuff that's happened, and been happening in a lot of different industries and but I think before we get into anything involving anything, can you please describe something for us which is when I see a title that says director of digital health and marketing going Scott and White Health, I think we should first take a step back and define what it is that digital health is.
Yeah, that's a great question. We get that quite often. I think we coined it like the most ambiguous term in healthcare right now. The first thing we do we, when we try to describe that, either internally or externally, I think we kind of raise it up a level and say, what does it mean to be a digital company, just in general. And if you look at the most successful companies right now, Your Amazon, your Googles right to be say all of those have something in common, and essentially boils to, I would say three or four things. We can argue about the fourth but I think the three that you see. The most common would be number one is they obsessed with this obsess over the consumer, they're always looking at how do I capture market share how do I convert to would be, they reimagine and they question everything, that is, like, why is it done this way, should it be done this way can we make it better. Right. And the third thing would be, they're all of them all, every single one of them are leveraging some type of advanced technology to accelerate their delivery of whatever product is right. They're not fumbling on old processors like they're okay let's invest here can be faster and quicker, get more consumer, the fourth one that I think that you can say, well, that's just about anything, but I think it is, execution, by the way I argued against this being included in our definition to begin with, but then as I evolved my thinking I think it makes more sense. Particularly, particularly in healthcare. We have, in healthcare, we are a fan of rolling out project plans that take 18 months to deliver anything. And I think if you look at what these digital tech companies are doing, they're deploying products, what we call minimum lovable products in a shorter time period, they're getting it out to market. It doesn't have to be 100%, you know 100% of where they want it to be, and then they're testing and iterating off of that so we're that's breath like that's how we want to be like we want to be more agile in our, our delivery method and our execution method,
so I didn't say efficiency is if I think about digital firms I think about a focus on always becoming more efficient, and that's like, he goes back to Moore's law, like, all the way back to the beginnings of the technology business, always focus on getting more out of less. Yeah,
I think that becomes even more important in healthcare. We have plenty of doctors don't we, yeah, plenty of doctors we have plenty of plenty of funding, apparently. Yeah,
spending a lot of money and not getting a big bang for our buck, either. It's my favor.
Yeah, I think you're, but I think you're right about efficiency, right, I think you know on that kind of same vein, maybe indirectly related to that, you know with this whole COVID Right and us being remote and stuffed in our homes, we quickly realize that there was an opportunity for our team to advance our, our video visit platform. And so we developed a video visit solution from our homes right, we're not in a room whiteboarding by we're doing this all remotely, and for months. We started in March and we released this, and like a pilot in late July, and now what's new is going to market, and you know I think that's a thing like talking about efficiency, right, like, leveraging the resources we have and being well by the way, I was a huge opponent for working remotely like I thought he had to get innovation in a conference room. Boy was I wrong. Boy do I sing a different tune. So,
yes, I think.
My goodness. Right, yeah, we used to get out of our box and drive to another box in a box. And outside of that box. Yeah, so many unnecessary boxes, yeah. Brandon, I have two questions. The first is just for some of our listeners who don't know, you just give a little bit of an overview of the scale of the operation, what to do, and then I'd love to talk a little bit about your video, visit platform as
Yeah, yeah, so, so we are $10 billion system so we're not small, in terms of revenue. We operate in, I would say two major markets, the metroplex. Austin Round Rock area, and then we have a big hub in tempo, just for further context,
sorry to interrupt you, international listeners, we're talking about Texas. It's the it's the place that everybody thinks we're riding horses and do the thing. Yeah.
Just so you know two places in two Metro centers in Texas, a healthcare system create $10 billion of revenue annually. So, that's insane. Wow, that's insane.
But I do have a meeting on Friday and often I'm gonna leave that for lunch today, because it's gonna take my horse, you know, a couple of
stereotypes are true. I've been in Texas for a long time now and that joke still landed Brendan, so good.
All right. So Brenda, you know, we'd love to know everybody always talks about failing fast everybody talks about rolling things out, minimum lovable products, we all never talk about is those comments that you get back where you look at the comment, you're like, man, they are so right and we totally missed the boat on that one. Can you give us one example of something that you've learned by rolling out the video platform, where it was feedback that you're like, yeah that's spot on v2 is gonna have that Kavli we missed it first go around.
Yeah, yeah. So this is like our second dip into releasing video, this, I'll go into the first one, right, and which was actually. It's funny because there was a gap between the first video and the second go at this and it's actually pretty, pretty significant gap we're talking about years. But the first one. Right, we give you a context for like how you're going to beat your head against the wall when I explained how you had to launch this like you're like, How in the world is that ever like, consumer oriented but. So we had our own app. Right, and then we partnered with a company, who will remain nameless. And the way you had to launch a video visit where you go into our app, then we would pass a token on to their app, and you would leave our app, you had to launch their app, didn't have their app, you had to go download the app, then you lose context. So you know how many we did a matter of six months I think we did like two in two of those remain. So I had to call the doctor the doctor the second time be like hey, I'm in the waiting room like a good day. So, needless to say, I was probably our worst critic because no one else used it so I was just like this sucks. Obviously we've matured significantly have built some great products. This new solution is, is pretty slick. We've got a lot of spaces is oversaturated now so you've got a lot of people to learn from, and what to what to do well and what, what you can pick from some we've evolved, for sure, and I'm excited about where we're in, we're gonna take this in the next couple of months. I like that.
I have a little question here and it ties back to that we're talking about what does it mean to be physical and what is digital health, is there a way to measure digital health inside of an organization or a company.
That's a great question. So, I'm going to say to you don't necessarily measure digital. I think the way we orient to think this would be. Maybe another way I would answer the question is like how do you orient to success, right, and I think for us, there's a fine line in digital, and innovation for that matter, that says, I'm gonna go chase this shiny object right there's this robot that can be deployed who can deliver coffee to every single patient in the hospital like, does that truly change cost does that quality outcomes like maybe it may sound convenient. So the way we index right the way we focus on how we evaluate success is like, I want to go back and I promised I wasn't going to use this, but I'm going to do it anyways. But it is the healthcare term of Quadruple Aim right is that reducing costs, you know, are we are we improving the health of our population, are we improving the patient experience, are we improving with the new one right is is used to be tripling now it's quad is the staff. Right.
A lot of right put that in there and look at, look at our healthcare system, progressive and understand that ROI and internally. It's the highest your digital properties you appear
we joke that we say, you know, if you want to see what's going to happen in healthcare, look back 10 years, you know, or look forward, that whatever is happening now is going to happen until here in 10 years. Yeah. It's sad that we move at snail's pace, and actually wait, I was joking with my wife, I had to go renew my license just recently, and the online experience with our Department of Transportation was better and more efficient than what we currently experience in healthcare. And I said, Man, That's rough man Oh,
I just, we need to sit on that because yeah let's
just pause this recording for a second, when you benchmark yourself against the government, when you don't have the government of Estonia. It's a pretty rough benchmark.
It's not, it's not what you want to be doing that is not what you strive to be great that just goes to show you. When people tell us, like, Hey, what are you working on, I'm like, What is there not to work on in healthcare, right. How does things don't reach your arm out is up here you're gonna grab it doesn't gain immediate Okay.
We have a million questions rebranded but I'd like to start with something that we're very familiar with, which is, there is so much that could be addressed when it comes to digital health. How do you think about your patient, and your staff journeys. And how do you find those key friction areas to focus effort and exploration on before you even get to development right just just from the front side because I don't know about you but like I definitely don't want to get a push notification say hey you have stage two pancreatic kids are like, Hey, I'm so glad that you're in it. I'd like someone to call me, but like that's a you know on the nose example but there definitely are moments where you have to leverage humans, there are definitely moments where you can leverage machines, how do you think through all of that, I would say
the first thing we do before we start any project or developing the product is, it's, it's simple for us, and it's what's the problem is that I know that sounds very consultant oriented but for us it's been very successful. If you don't come with a strong why, then it's going to die. And so if we can at least start there and then it moves into okay. Right now we have the why. Let's get to the what and then let's get to the how, specifically some tactics that we've found to be very successful for us in our app. My VSDB health is, is, is probably a good use case in in deploying these consumer oriented research tactics. So we do a lot of qualitative we do some quantitative studies. We do a lot of consumer journey maps, we did a lot of consumer journey maps. I'm a big fan of those, those immersive experiences and research and we found out a lot about our patients but by doing those things. One specific use case, I love to talk about is scheduling, like, That's the hardest thing, it feels like in health care just even see somebody, and we spent time looking at that workflow and saying, Okay, coming to us. What are you experiencing so you know we always pick, pick the mother, as kind of, if we can end the mother if we can orient to the mother in the household, right, the mom is probably waking up right it's let's say she's the one who is not right. And then she's got three kids that she's got to send 3d fractions. She's got a husband that she may have to like push out the door to get to work and so she's already like running at full speed. The last thing she wants to do is open up an app that has 12 steps to schedule an appointment. And he or she may say I like I just want to do an E visit or wood or I want to do, just telehealth for me I just wanted to tell her I want to go sit in a waiting room so what we did is we just obsessed over that that experience and so we had like 12 steps when it should be, when this can be done in 3d. And so we did we did exactly that. We simplified the process the three steps. As a matter of fact, after we did that we saw like this, hockey stick, turn in the number of appointments given online. We actually made it over simplified, we had too many people like scheduling appointments, and they're like, Whoa crap did I just get an appointment, because it was three status, we actually had to go back and add a fourth step, it's your confirmation page if you will, right, like, Are you sure you want to check out and purchase this item and said once we did that we saw a reduction and No, no show rates, But just things like that, but again we overcomplicated in healthcare.
It's interesting that you said you know, adding that step. Sometimes you have to add some friction in order to make an experience, right, and it's it's an interesting process. Your answer kind of segues nicely into, well, how the hell can digital help fix healthcare. It's a big question. A big question.
There's a couple of things I think of when people ask that question. I think about efficiency right what we talked about earlier, technology, just makes us when leveraged correctly, managed to add that caveat. When leverage correctly, makes us more efficient, which in turn allows for humans to be, like, if I'm doing a mundane task, Tony and I'm like doing it over and over again and that's something that I've had to have automated. And then free up that individual to think more creatively like go spend more time on complex tasks and see if we can find ways to improve that. So it's not necessarily like replacing individuals, augmenting their ability to determine the format of the comps. So I think that's one way but cost, like I think you just look, we just wrote wasteful, in healthcare, like healthcare makes up what 20% of our gross domestic product, like,
just about to say that it's ridiculous. It's for the quality of care outcome, the amount of money we spent in in the United States is absurd. Unbelievable. The other,
the other part of this problem is probably the actual consumers of health care costs, right, you know, us, we have these running list of AC DC 10 codes that we think are jokes, because you say well it's all on the healthcare systems like the healthcare system needs to be better. We as consumers of healthcare also need to be smarter in how we navigate healthcare, I'll kick off, I'll leave you with two that I think are just interesting, right, these are actually billable code so like Peter don't do these, but these are things that have happened to people. So there's one that's called, it's, I won't read the code because it doesn't matter but it's sucked into a jet engine subsequent encounter, so that you know what that means right that that happened twice, right, that's a code that in health care that's how we, that's how complex we get.
Oh, yeah, I know those people. Yeah, right. Yes, the other one jet engine. Subsequently, second time to think that I could understand that and then the Navy as a red aircraft carriers and it's maybe, you know, once every 10 years that that happens once. Yeah,
yeah, you should learn after the first time, not to get that close to the jet engine. The question is how did you survive the first one, like, are you. Right, yeah, yeah. Nine you were sucked into it it's not a prop plane it's a it's a real turbine, it's a jet engine turbine Yeah. But yeah, I mean, the other one I just don't understand this either. It's a burn due to water skis on fire. Like that's a billable ICD 10 code, it's happened, right, these are things that happen, even as adults, we're still, we're still learning how to navigate, healthcare, it's evolving, and we're still learning how to navigate, I mean, I had an unfortunate bit of tearing both ACLs. In, right before COVID and taking a step back and saying like, Oh, crap now I actually have to use the tools that I've created. And we're really going to test how successful this is, and I'm an I'm an informed healthcare consumer right I know where to go and even, even if those times are still in ambiguity and like, Okay, I've know that the right step for me is to go to my primary care doctor like we try to preach that in our system like your, your primary care your family die has to be what we call the quarterback of care, right, and then they should be able to say no, Brandon, you just have a sprained knee go home and ice it rested elevated and move on with life or hey your kneecap is shifting pretty significantly you got an orthopedic specialist and so like that's, you know how we should evolve into that right and so we've got to get better at knowing where to start, knowing where to go second. And then, you know, asking the right questions like, this is where apply where the payer comes into play here too, which is you know how, how much is this going to cost, right, what's the goal and being more informed about where do I go to stay in network gray where the partner is going to be in the charges, that's a whole another conversation. A lot of times like pulling slot machines really don't know what you're gonna get.
Earlier, let's not talk about pricing transparency 64,000 hours without putting hours.
I do have a final question for you and it's a question that we ask every guest, which is, I let Peter asked this last time and he just butchered it. So I'm gonna ask really bad I have to practice it at home before I'm ready for primetime again, he's gonna have to listen here, it did. Okay, so what non digital object or thing, you own or possess means the most to you or has impacted your life the most, one
Cody that is a phenomenal question. You know, I would say, I would say it probably evolves in,
I'm a, I'm a flavor of the moment and a guy, right now, and it's not what's affecting my life the most but I wouldn't have gotten through this podcast if it wasn't for this, but it's this French press that I am obsessed with right now. And I was always a,
like I, you know, but me, once you are, there's no going back. I am so sorry. I'm so rude. Like I'm a geek I'll go to YouTube and like watch for Reese's make French press. Yeah. Like, we just need to put the grinds in there like no, you got to warm up the French press. You got to dump that out you got to let it sit for two and a half to three minutes, then you get a pulpit and she's like, you're on. And I'm like, No, this talk is just like you're gonna get the new debt.
Yeah, I just put my kids college tuition on an espresso machine. Now that we're all working and you think he's joking, but he is not. He's not joking. Was that pre COVID tummy or is that, that was, that was after we announced that Followerwonk it was going to be word from wherever company. Yeah, I was like, well I gotta make this.
And the best part is this slack channel and bottle rocket. Coffee Talk, and Tony just low key posts, oh yeah bought this new toy, and it's like an industrial grade espresso machine, I mean, we're talking, for reasons that quality.
Cody wants in the Slack channel drops the mic, leads, like, yeah, like, oh what grinder, would you pair with this machine. Yeah, I'm done.
I respect your answer. It obviously sparked a passion between all of us. Oh, so I appreciate that,
you know, to make me level up to your level I've got a ways to go to get, you know, level, whatever you're at 150 Well,
I so appreciate you coming on and being part of our chat today, I think that this has been a really interesting, really to have a conversation and I know the listeners are gonna think the same. so thank you yeah thank you guys.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai