Episode 95: ‘How COVID-19 is Reframing Healthcare in America’ with Lee Becker, Solutions Principal at Medallia Inc.

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

On Friday March 27th 2020, I launched a limited podcast series addressing how the COVID-19 pandemic is reframing American healthcare.  You can find the introductory episode here.  In this series, I am interviewing future-facing and courageous healthcare leaders and entrepreneurs – asking two questions:

(1) How is the COVID-19 pandemic immediately changing the way you are delivering healthcare?

(2) How will COVID-19 reframe American healthcare for years to come?

The episode this week outlines an approach to designing the healthcare consumer experience that, in my opinion, will become a required standard of care.  Our guest is Lee Becker who currently serves as Solutions Principal at Medallia Inc.  Medallia is a pioneering and leading consumer experience management company.  Prior to joining Medallia, Lee served as the Chief of Staff for the Department of Veterans Affairs ‘Customer Experience Office’ and was responsible for transforming the patient experience there.  Lee is a Navy Veteran and former Chief Hospital Corpsman who served in operational capacities and expeditionary platforms providing care to Marines during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

This is an incredibly instructive and inspiring dialogue in which we discuss:

  • The “whole person” human-centered reframe the VA introduced in its healthcare consumer experience – and how relevant that is to today’s situation, and moving forward during the post-COVID-19 era.
  • The 3 critical components Lee Becker and his colleagues utilized to deploy this holistic reframe of the healthcare consumer experience.
  • The emerging AI-enabled, ‘signal-capture’ technology that transforms how patients can navigate through the healthcare system – again, so on point to the challenges we are currently facing and will continue to encounter in the post-COVID-19 era.

Lee brings a unique set of experiences and expertise to bear.  But, even more than his expertise, wisdom and accomplishments, what impresses me most about Lee Becker is his integrity, his palpable sense of purpose and service, and his down-to-earth practicality.  The approaches he (and Medallia) are deploying are so simple and common sensical; but they are not commonplace.  If we had followed the empathetic, humanistic playbook that Lee Becker outlines, our healthcare system would have been much better prepared for the pandemic, and for the recovery in the post-COVID-19 healthcare era.  These ‘whole-person’ human-centered lessons are particularly salient to our present moment in healthcare history, in which the critical importance of emotional, relational and social health are being demonstrated in spades.

As Lee points out, if we are going to fully recover from this pandemic, it will require that we take the time to learn these lessons and make the appropriate shifts – particularly the shift from thinking about healthcare consumers only as ‘clinical’ patients – to understanding, engaging and treating them as ‘whole’ people.  The take home point for me is that we must move beyond words and intentions to actually reframing healthcare, or we will find ourselves repeating history over and over again.  As Lee points out, we must, with methodological rigor – redirect our tactics and resources – and deploy the policies, processes, tools & technologies that can make healthcare more engaging, enabling & empathetic for every member of our society.

Until next time, be safe and be well.

Zeev Neuwirth, MD