Dec 07

Lucro Company Update and Year in Review

Blog Bruce Brandes HISTalk Sales Purchasing Decisions Decision Making healthcare innovation Innovation

As you likely experience every day, uncertainty and cost pressures in healthcare have created unprecedented challenges and opportunity for the industry.

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Nov 21

Why Healthcare Organizations Take So Long to Make Buying Decisions and How We Can Fix It (Part 4 of 4 - Process) (HIStalk)

Blog Bruce Brandes HISTalk Sales Purchasing Decisions Decision Making healthcare innovation Innovation

(as seen in HIStalk Reader's Write on November 15, 2017)

We have previously discussed the impact of organizational misalignment and lack of trust on slowing the buying cycle in healthcare. Once you decide which projects are worth tackling and you streamline getting the scoop from your trusted network, now you must challenge and simplify the deeply-rooted, legacy workflow to make a decision.

Let’s illustrate two examples of antiquated steps in most every vendor selection process in healthcare and discuss potential solutions.

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Nov 02

Why Healthcare Organizations Take So Long to Make Buying Decisions and How We Can Fix It (Part 3 of 4 - Trust) (HIStalk)

Blog Bruce Brandes HISTalk Sales Purchasing Decisions Decision Making healthcare innovation Innovation

(as seen in HIStalk Reader's Write on November 1, 2017)

In Part 2 of this series, we discussed the importance of first clearly defining and aligning regarding the problem a buyer seeks to solve before evaluating products. The next key element is to invite trusted colleagues to contribute insights and experience in the context of that problem and possible solutions.

Below we will share more about the type of buying decisions most impacted by a lack of trust and explore how healthcare buyers can gain more confidence in the choices they must make.

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Sep 28

Why Healthcare Organizations Take So Long to Make Buying Decisions and How We Can Fix It (Part 2 of 4 - Misalignment) (HIStalk)

Blog Bruce Brandes HISTalk Sales Purchasing Decisions Decision Making healthcare innovation Innovation

(as seen in HIStalk Reader's Write on September 27, 2017)

As any industry observer knows, health systems continue to consolidate in an attempt to ensure their viability given unprecedented financial and operational pressures.  Many organizations struggle to fully leverage their scale post-merger. Most often the difficulty is to align focus, priorities, internal knowledge. and industry experience across the expanded team as they integrate.  

Misalignment is usually the main contributor to the length of the sales and purchasing process. Too often people fall in love with a PRODUCT without first clearly defining the PROBLEM they seek to solve. This challenge is exacerbated by complex purchasing decisions that require collaboration across multiple stakeholders to make the right choices.

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Sep 05

Why Healthcare Organizations Take So Long to Make Buying Decisions and How We Can Fix It (Part 1 of 4) (HIStalk)

Blog Bruce Brandes HISTalk Sales Purchasing Decisions Decision Making healthcare innovation Innovation

(as seen in HIStalk Reader's Write on August 30, 2017)

Over my 28-year career selling to health systems, the most common “competitor” to which my companies would lose a deal was the same: Do Nothing. For decision-makers across the country, there are many reasons that deferring buying decisions was historically a wise choice. 

Rarely was there a compelling reason to make a decision at all. In the past, the economics, competitive pressures, and the underlying business model did not change meaningfully enough to encourage risk-taking. Frequently, if you waited long enough, potential industry changes would often just go away.

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Sep 08

Why Pokemon Go is More Important to the Future of Healthcare Than Your EMR By Bruce Brandes (with Charlie Martin)

Becker's Hospital Review Blog Bruce Brandes Charlie Martin HISTalk Interview Seinfeld

(as seen on HIStalk on September 7, 2016)

Over a year ago, I completed an HIStalk blog series entitled “All I Needed to Know to Disrupt Healthcare, I Learned from Seinfeld.” Now we have a new pop culture phenomenon from which our industry has much to learn.

At a recent conference, keynote speaker and legendary healthcare services entrepreneur Charlie Martin made the following proclamation to a ballroom full of healthcare IT leaders: “Pokemon Go has more to do with the future of healthcare than your EMR.”

I’m pleased to collaborate with Charlie through this column to illuminate how a free gaming app will have more of an impact than the billions of dollars spent on an array of electronic medical record systems over the past couple of decades.

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Jul 26

All I Needed to Know to Disrupt Healthcare I Learned from “Seinfeld”: Part I – Do The Opposite

Blog Bruce Brandes HISTalk Seinfeld

(as presented initially on HISTalk on January 28, 2015)

In my continued efforts to learn from progressive healthcare thought leaders, I recently read Eric Topol’s new book “The Patient Will See You Now.” I was heartened to see Dr. Topol’s opening chapter illustrate his first point with an intellectual / cultural equilibrium I can appreciate … through an amusing story from “Seinfeld” about Elaine’s medical record woes. That anecdote caused me to reflect on how my favorite iconic TV show about nothing is instructive for the entrepreneurs who strive to reinvent our healthcare delivery system.

Cautionary note:  my comments in this series will assume that HIStalk readers have at least a baseline knowledge in all things “Seinfeld.” I apologize in advance to the two or three folks out there who have not seen (or heaven forbid, did not like) “Seinfeld.”

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Jun 01

All I Needed to Know to Disrupt Healthcare I Learned from “Seinfeld”: Part II – And YOU Want To Be My Latex Salesman

Blog Bruce Brandes HISTalk Seinfeld

(As presented on HISTalk on February 16, 2015)

Upon being granted an interview with IBM while in business school for a chance at my first real job, my initial enthusiasm was slightly curbed by the fact that the position was to become a sales rep. With an undergraduate degree in finance and an MBA, I had imagined a career on Wall Street.

A sales rep? The vivid composite in my head was of some guy in a shiny suit, with a pinky ring and remarkable hair, trying to sell me something that I really did not need. Just like George Costanza’s dream of pretending to be an architect or a marine biologist before compromising to a desperate hope of an imaginary job as Jerry’s latex salesman, I would have to reconcile the dream with reality.

My IBM sales school training quickly helped reorient my mindset with my new responsibilities as a marketing representative (I was relieved to hear that the dirty word “sales” was not in the official title). One of my first and most enduring lessons came at a meeting of the executive leadership team of a large hospital in New Orleans, my IBM regional executives, and me. As the conversation turned to a mention of a product I had just learned about in training, I enthusiastically interjected with the sales pitch I had recently memorized. The hospital COO interrupted me with the rebuke, “You don’t know what you don’t know. Please be quiet.” Ouch.

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May 03

All I Needed to Know to Disrupt Healthcare I Learned from “Seinfeld” (and “SNL"): Part III – Serenity Now

Blog Bruce Brandes HISTalk Seinfeld

(As presented originally on HISTalk on March 9, 2015)

Competition. A foundational element that drives greater success in a capitalistic society. And yet, examination of the array of perceptions and reactions regarding one’s competitors in business is both fascinating and revealing.

As we get to know an entrepreneur and assess a prospective investment, an important insight is their response to the multidimensional question, “How do you view your competition?”

How an entrepreneur expresses awareness, insights, differentiation, and honesty in recognition of competition can illuminate market opportunity, commercial viability, and personal credibility. Do you deny, dismiss, disparage, or do you choose to recognize and embrace others in your space? How does that answer vary when discussing competition internally or externally? Does the stress of competition drive your organization to catalyze improvement or to react with paralyzing stress?

What lessons can be learned from the competitive battle between George Costanza and his nemesis, Lloyd Braun? Serenity now.

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Apr 06

All I Needed to Know to Disrupt Healthcare I Learned from “Seinfeld”: Part IV – Are You the Master of Your Domain?

Blog Bruce Brandes HISTalk Seinfeld

(As presented on HISTalk on April 6, 2015)

Was it Freud or Costanza who once said, “The ego is not master in its own house”? Ah yes, Sigmund Freud. Costanza said something else about being master of one’s domain. George Costanza also once rebuked George Steinbrenner for destroying the institution of the New York Yankees "all for the glorification of your massive ego”.

For an entrepreneur, ego is both a critical ingredient in the recipe to build success as well as a foundational risk to predestine failure. A keen self-awareness of when to intentionally fortify one’s ego versus the appropriate time to acknowledge the fine line between self-confidence and pride in order to relinquish one’s ego may dictate your fate as an early stage company.

Today we will discuss the importance of knowing when to have an ego … and its corollary of knowing when to check your ego.

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