PODCAST #12. The Product Manager’s Path to Health Tech Innovation: Product Strategy, Leadership & OKRs
We were thrilled to have a distinguished product strategist, team leader, and customer support specialist from the post-acute and long-term care sector join us for today’s episode.
Our guest, BJ Boyle, holds the position of Chief Product Officer at PointClickCare, a top healthcare technology platform dedicated to improving patient outcomes by fostering collaboration and offering real-time insights.
In this discussion, we delve into the following: product strategy formulation, effective team leadership, and expert viewpoints on OKRs.
BJ’s Journey into Product Management
BJ has over 20 years of experience in product management, strategy, and development, witnessing the growth of product management as a career path in digital transformation companies within the healthcare sector. BJ didn’t initially plan to pursue a career in product management; instead, they began as an implementation specialist, traveling to skilled nursing facilities to install and train people on software.
I found great satisfaction in refining processes and collaborating with customers to ensure the delivery of their required solutions.
During an early experience with a client that decided not to move forward with a deal due to dissatisfaction with the software’s reporting features, BJ learned the importance of improving products based on customer feedback. This realization led BJ to work closely with engineering teams and customers to enhance products and ensure they met customer needs. Eventually, BJ’s passion for making things better and working with customers to deliver the best solutions evolved into a successful product management career.
The Transition to Electronic Health Records & Overcoming the Challenges
As a director of social strategy development at Cerner, the transition from traditional pen-and-paper methods to electronic health records (EHRs) in healthcare organizations was a fascinating experience.
Initially, there was considerable resistance to transitioning to digital systems. However, over time, people began recognizing the benefits and efficiencies of digitization.
While that’s true, BJ pointed out that:
There is still much work to be done in utilizing the data from electronic health records and other digital systems to significantly enhance patient care and outcomes.
In the healthcare and technology space, challenges persist due to the complexity of the healthcare system and the involvement of numerous stakeholders. Implementing technology solutions requires not only the technology itself but also integration with existing systems and processes. Ensuring seamless operation remains a challenge. Moreover, effectively leveraging the vast data collected from electronic health records and digital systems to improve patient care and outcomes is still a work in progress. The focus is on using data to make better decisions and achieve better patient outcomes.
The Role of Product Management in Healthcare Integration
In the coming years, the healthcare system will focus on interoperability and seamless integration of new technologies and processes, with collaboration between organizations being crucial. Product management will play a critical role in understanding the challenges faced by healthcare organizations and identifying technological solutions to address them. By working closely with customers, partners, and internal teams, product managers can drive innovation and develop solutions that improve healthcare delivery and experience.
Entering a new industry with fresh perspectives allows product managers to ask better questions and listen more effectively to users and potential buyers. Instead of seeking affirmation for preconceived answers, focusing on genuinely understanding the customers’ needs helps in identifying the right problems to solve, ultimately leading to better solutions.
PointClickCare’s Success Pillars
At Point Click Care, which holds a leadership position in long-term post-acute care with a 70% market share, the focus is on being the engine that helps customers and future customers thrive in a rapidly changing healthcare landscape.
Point Click Care recognizes that healthcare is not limited to a physical location and seeks to connect senior care customers to the broader healthcare ecosystem, ensuring a seamless journey for patients from emergency departments to rehab centers, senior living facilities, and beyond.
Healthcare is centered around individuals; it was vital for us to integrate our senior care customers into the larger healthcare ecosystem.
How to Reduce Silos and Unnecessary Work in Health Tech Systems
The primary goal is to provide the best possible care and achieve the highest outcomes for patients, while ensuring healthcare providers get paid for their services. As healthcare becomes increasingly complex, especially with value-based care models and multiple stakeholders, it is important to identify and remove friction points in the processes.
One example is streamlining the flow of information between hospitals and long-term care facilities to avoid medication errors and readmissions.
By leveraging technology and adopting electronic data transfer, Point Click Care successfully eliminated double documentation and significantly improved the accuracy and efficiency of the process, demonstrating the critical role of product management in healthcare innovation.
Regarding effective approaches, healthcare teams can focus on the following key aspects:
Improve data flow and validation during patient transfers from hospitals to skilled nursing facilities
Nurses and admissions coordinators should perform real-time medication reconciliation to reduce readmissions.
Focus on Impact
Product leaders should prioritize making a meaningful impact and measuring it rather than just completing tasks.
Understand the art and science of product management to convert solution strategies into tangible actions.
Adapting to Organizational Growth
Recognize that methods used at lower levels may not be as effective as one moves up in the organization.
Aligning Team Mindsets
Communicate the right mindset to different teams with varying goals, using appropriate frameworks and processes.
Enhancing Transparency in Post-Care Facilities Feedback
We have to grasp the personas, roles, and titles of those involved to help create a better connection to their workflow processes. First-hand experiences, such as shadowing staff or observing daily routines, reveal the importance of these interactions in real-life situations.
According to Mr. Boyle:
Engaging with our customers, partners, and end-users is essential for understanding the personas, roles, and titles of our target audience, particularly in healthcare and health tech product management.
For instance, witnessing a medication nurse being frequently interrupted while administering medications highlights the need for better solutions. Early career experiences with point-of-care kiosks in skilled nursing facilities emphasize the importance of efficiency and user experience. Observing and learning from these situations helps improve health tech products and the overall user experience.
As product management continues to evolve alongside the rapid advancements in technology, there are still untapped opportunities awaiting exploration. To ensure ongoing progress and success, product managers must remain mindful of key considerations and best practices in their field.
Here are the key take homes:
- Utilizing electronic health records and digital systems data can enhance patient care and outcomes but requires further development.
- Product management is crucial for healthcare integration, driving innovation, and creating solutions that address challenges faced by healthcare organizations.
- Streamlining information flow between healthcare providers and adopting electronic data transfer can reduce silos and improve efficiency.
- Engaging with customers, partners, and end-users helps understand target audience personas, roles, and titles, enhancing transparency in post-care facilities feedback.
- Observing real-life situations helps improve health tech products and user experiences by understanding users’ needs and experiences.
The APP Solutions launched a podcast, CareMinds, where you can hear from respected experts in healthcare and Health Tech.
Who is a successful product manager in the healthcare domain? Which skills and qualities are crucial? How important is this role in moving a successful business to new achievements? Responsibilities and KPIs?
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