Disruption: It’s in our DNA

Health care strategist, CEO, author, inventor, and innovator Nicholas Webb delivered a dynamic address over the “The Disruptive Future of Dermatology — The Good News!” during Friday’s Plenary (151).

Plenary guest speaker Nicholas Webb.

In addition to identifying three main components of this disruption to the dermatology practice — consumerization, enabling technologies, and market/customer value — Webb fielded questions about staying relevant in today’s world.

Q: Thinking of dermatology as a business, what should dermatologists do to improve the patient experience?

Webb: It’s important for dermatologists to define what “patient” means today, and then re-define what “the patient experience” should be. Today, dermatology practices are competing with extremely savvy corporations that are leveraging formal Consumer Experience (CX) Design. Consumer or customer experience design is an innovation process that leverages patient personification, patient journey mapping, and the usage of digital blended experiences to significantly improve the patient experience. This body of work is so successful, in fact, that 89% of the top brands in the world are using CX to drive sustainable growth and profitability. The bottom line: The disruptive marketplace requires far more advanced patient experience strategies, and dermatology practices that ignore this will ultimately fail.

Q: What can dermatologists do to leverage technology to our fullest advantage?

Webb: Dermatologists have been employing several effective uses for technology to enhance their practice. They are leveraging keyword-specific landing page websites to target specific conditions, ranging from acne to a wide range of cosmetic and other targeted landing pages. Nearly nine in 10 patients begin their dermatology journey by searching keywords. Rather than a generic dermatology website, these keywords need to land on a very relevant landing page that speaks only to the search terms. The best dermatology practices are leveraging search engine optimization to drive growth and profitability, iPad surveys at checkout to glean insights about the quality of the patient experience, targeted text and email campaigns to deliver ongoing continuous patient value, online appointment setting portals, and a wide range of other in-practice technologies that significantly improve the patient experience. People can only manage technologies that they understand, and leaning into emerging technologies is the hallmark of the best dermatology practices in the world.

Q: What are common issues you see with health care providers? And how can we combat those?

Webb: Very often, customers have no way of determining the efficacy or quality of the services they are receiving. Therefore, they are making decisions based on the human experience across five touchpoints that are specific to their persona, not clinical skills. Am I suggesting that clinical skills are not mandatory? Absolutely not! But growing practices are made up of great health care providers that respect the importance of architecting both exceptionally safe and efficacious treatment, while concurrently instituting formal customer experience architecture.