Out of sight, out of mind?

August 26, 2016

Digital is infiltrating everything, and nowhere does it have more potential for positive change, and disaster, than in health care. Doctors’ handwriting, meaning misinterpreted and therefore miss-administered drugs kill more people in hospitals than the reason the people were admitted in the first place. One should be happy, that handwriting is being replaced with computer text, that everyone can understand, not just the doctor’s mother.

But where digital is just viewed as an improvement from the service providers point-of-view, and not as a means to deliver a better customer experience, it can cause problems that didn’t exist before. Digital prescriptions, for instance. The only thing that now exists is a direct line between the doctor and the pharmacy. But you don’t even get a piece of paper or an SMS to remind you to go pick it up. If it isn’t urgent, or you can’t go to the pharmacy immediately, you might completely forget about it. 

Or the public transport contactless card that contains tickets but doesn’t remind you that your monthly card expired over the weekend, when you weren’t using it. Come Monday morning you find out the hard way on the bus – and they don’t sell tickets anymore because everything is digital.

In optimising services to take advantage of digitalization, it is important to remember that things must remain tangible. There must be a reminder, a piece of paper or an SMS, something to remember. Once everything is just in the cloud, you may not remember you had it before it is too late. Like automatic payments for services you didn’t remember you ever signed up for.

Lead article from Brand Manual Bulletin #5. August 26, 2016