Episode #45 – Consumerism in Healthcare with Kevan Mabbutt

Consumerism – the promotion of consumers’ perspectives & interests – is one of the hottest & rapidly emerging topics in healthcare today.

Whether you’re a large healthcare delivery network,  hospital system, surgical center, or ambulatory practice – if you’re interested in patient growth and retention, or in optimizing the experience & outcomes of care – you should be very interested in improving your approach to consumerism.

Many factors have contributed to the rapid rise of consumerism in healthcare.  First, patients are being presented with an increasing array of care choices. Second, patients are footing a greater percentage of their healthcare bills.  Third, people are now used to sophisticated, easy, and elegant customer interactions in other aspects of their lives; and are bringing these expectations to bear on their healthcare experience.  And, they’re increasingly voting with their feet and their wallets.

The problem is that while there are lots of opinions; there’s not a whole lot of expertise or experience in healthcare consumerism.

Our guest today is the most experienced and accomplished consumer-oriented expert I’ve encountered in healthcare to date.  He’s also a delightful, engaging and humble human being.  Kevan Mabbutt joined Intermountain Health last year as their Chief Consumer Officer bringing over 25 years of experience in this field.  Prior to joining Intermountain, Mr Mabbutt served as the Global Head of Consumer Insight at Walt Disney. In this role, he led consumer experience development and transformation for Disney’s theme park, cruise line, resort, retail, and digital assets in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.  He was instrumental in defining and optimizing the guest experience at Disney’s first theme park in mainland China (Shanghai Disney Resort).  He also helped drive the expansion of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars brands globally.

In this interview Kevan shares his profound thoughts on the context of consumerism in healthcare.  What you’ll hear includes:

  • How Disney understands consumer-centrism, and how different that perspective is from how we, in healthcare, consider consumerism.
  • Kevan’s own understanding of consumerism as a deeply humanistic and empathetic endeavour.
  • The need for consumerism to be inclusive of providers as much as patients, and the reason that’s critically important.
  • A  fundamental reorientation of “value” as being defined by the consumer’s subjective experience  – whether it be outcomes or affordability, or any other aspect of healthcare.
  • Some of the challenges that Kevan has encountered in introducing a consumerist mindset into healthcare, and his strong caution that we not equate consumerism with digital technology.

This is one of the most exciting and enlightening interviews I’ve had the pleasure of hosting.  If there is a must-do in healthcare, it’s this.  As Kevan puts it – consumerism is not a part of the chain; it impacts the entire chain of healthcare delivery.  It’s about redefining the core strength and critical element of every link of that chain as being implicitly about value, as defined by the consumer.  This will require us to adapt and integrate aspects of consumerism such as human-centered design & personalization, segmentation & customization, transparency, and engagement at a system-wide level – if we aspire to be fully successful in the value-based transformation of healthcare delivery.

Get ready to be challenged and inspired by the notions of consumerism that Kevan Mabbutt brings from his unique experiences at Disney and his 25 years as a leading authority and highly accomplished executive in consumer insights.

Zeev Neuwirth, MD