A Patient-First Mentality Is a Mistake

Jonathan Minson

February 16, 2024

Okay, you've made it past the intentionally provoking title. But let me explain what I mean.

Beware of digital front door vendors who say, "We put the patient first." Of course, we all care about patient experience. But your digital front door vendor doesn't see the patient. They don't offer clinical care. They, at bottom, won't be the reason for success or failure. That's on you. You're the provider. Patients don't come to your office just to use the snazzy computer system. They come to you because they are seeking wellness, and they look to you to give it to them.

That's why Calvient puts providers first. Yes, many of our tools are for patients; we build first-class user experiences for them. But our mission is to simplify the life of practitioners and staff by easing, optimizing, and automating parts of the care process so that providers can focus on delivering excellent care.

Healthcare tech vendors have a Messiah complex

By now you've heard the tired line from healthcare technology companies: "we're saving healthcare."

I've spent most of my career on the other side of the table: working for a healthcare system. I've evaluated solutions from various vendors. I've seen implementations go smoothly. I've seen implementations fail. But most of the time, the worst possible case happened: the implementation succeeded just enough to keep the software around, even though it didn't live up to the promised value. Healthcare operators are notoriously guilty of the sunk cost fallacy. In fact, I'm not convinced the entire EHR industry hasn't survived in such an inept state on those grounds alone.

Over time, I've built a visceral disgust to vendors who boldly claim, "we're saving healthcare." Are you? Are you tending to the sick in their time of dire need? Are you putting in repeated 12-hour shifts that end with tired feet and a bent back? How many times have you had to tell a wife that her husband of 50 years isn't going to make it? The Messiah complex from these companies has to stop.

Calvient stays in our lane

Calvient's mission is to support the delivery of excellent care. We put you first, so you can put the patient first. It's crucial to understand that technology is a means to an end, not the end itself. The allure of technology can sometimes overshadow the primary goal of healthcare: to care for patients. At Calvient, we firmly believe in enhancing the provider-patient relationship, not replacing or diminishing it. Our focus is on creating tools that streamline administrative tasks, reduce manual labor, and ultimately, give back time to providers. Time that can be better spent with patients, understanding their concerns, and providing the care they need.

This philosophy extends beyond just a product or service. It's about creating an ecosystem where technology serves as the backbone of a more efficient, more responsive healthcare system. One where providers have immediate access to the information they need, where communication between different parts of the healthcare system is seamless, and where patients feel their needs are being met with both compassion and competence.

In the grand scheme of things, technology companies, especially those in the healthcare space, should remember their role. We are facilitators, not saviors. Our job is to make the jobs of healthcare providers easier, more efficient, and more effective. It's not about the technology itself, but about how it's used to enhance the human aspect of healthcare. At Calvient, we're committed to this vision. We work tirelessly to ensure our tools and services are aligned with the needs of both providers and patients, without losing sight of the ultimate goal of healthcare: providing care.

So, it may be that my post's title was misleading. We all want to put patients first. But a good technology vendor knows they can best do that only when they put providers first.