In other customer facing industries such as communications, successful firms spend considerable resources to ensure that their product is designed around their customers experience.
As the healthcare system shifts from volume to value, healthcare organizations will need to ensure that patients and careers help to design services deliver better value. Involving patients and their careers in the design of services, in identifying priorities for change or for research and in understanding how they perceive different components of services will not just improve their experience but helps to remove non-value adding steps and improve efficiency. Using interviews, observations, diaries, stories and ethnography to supplement the standard methods to collect patient insight is important: having a culture willing to listen even more so.
This is not simply a set of soft skills. If patients and their careers are allowed to input across the health and social care system, they will be in a position to create extra value for organizations in that system.
Patient Groups across the world not only want to represent patients in designing healthcare for political reasons, but also have strong economic arguments for so doing. In some countries this is already happening and resources are being saved. In others they are on the verge of making this happen.