… “Fail fast, fail cheap – applying the entrepreneur model to 21st century pharmacy.”
If you participate in a Startup Weekend, work with a business incubator, or spend much time at all around 21st century entrepreneurs, you will learn quickly that the model for success in this new economy is rooted in failure.
Oxymoronic? Counterintuitive? Countermoronic??? Maybe. It also happens to work.
When I say that the model is rooted in failure, what that means is the mantra of the entrepreneur is “fail fast, fail cheap.” This actually isn’t a new idea. It’s the same notion that Thomas Edison took when subscribing to the notion that every failure of the new fangled electric light bulb was just one step closer to the solution. The trick was to accomplish these “failures” as cheaply as possible and spend a minimal amount of time doing so. The question is, how can we apply this model to 21st century pharmacy?
Ok, I know what you’re thinking. “But Pharmacist Jamie… we’re pharmacists, not entrepreneurs. We’re not founding tech companies… we’re not developing apps that let you put things ‘on the line‘… we are health care providers, not entrepreneurs.”
Yeah. Let me know how that works out for you. In the meantime I’ve got a suggestion:
Premium services lead to lower healthcare costs that lead to more valued service that leads to more revenue.
Let that sink in a moment. And yes, pharmacists are (or should be) an integral part of such a system. We don’t consider ourselves entrepreneurs, but we should. The health care system is being reinvented right in front of us. As I’ve said before, we can’t expect a lofty place in the order to be reserved for us. We need to make our own place, define our own space, create our own value. Nobody does that better than an entrepreneur.
So I’d like to unpack the seminal point of this post: Premium services lead to lower healthcare costs that lead to more valued service that leads to more revenue.
The initial reaction would be that better quality health care is more expensive thus driving down the demand. In actuality, the opposite is true. So much of our health care system is focused on treating problems that arise from a primary condition. Patient recidivism from improperly managed medication regimes are a huge cost to the system and the consumer. How many of your patients have not properly finished their antibiotic only to have the infection reoccur? More treatment, more drugs, immunity begins to development, etc. Spending more time on patient counseling and care on the front end will prevent these back end costs. This adds value to the role of the pharmacist in the health care system, which means patients engage pharmacists more for counseling, which means we then have another line item we can build. Premium services lead to lower healthcare costs that lead to more valued service that leads to more revenue.
Opportunities for this model abound. Tobacco cessation, hospital discharge, rehab discharge, etc. There is a market need for these services, there is a revenue generation opportunity. Now we need a generation of Pharmacist Entrepreneurs to make it happen. Any takers?