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“You need to fail often in order to succeed once.”

Bill Balderaz, Founder of Webbed Marketing, grew the company from a one-man consultancy to one of the largest and fastest growing independent interactive marketing agencies in the Midwest. In 2011, Webbed Marketing was acquired by Fathom.
Fathom Healthcare is helping the healthcare industry and patients connect during this time of change. Nothing is changing like health care and they are there to help hospitals and other healthcare organizations navigate the legislative, technological and societal changes that are reshaping the industry.

Fathom

BusinessInterviews.com: Can you elaborate how you’re using turmoil and transition in healthcare industry as an opportunity to build a better system?

Bill: Sure! In general, turmoil equals opportunity. Look for the most disruptive part of the economy. If you can solve problems there, you can be successful. Today healthcare is chaotic. Just turn on the news to see that. The cost of care is rising, but hospital revenues are falling and the rules are changing on the insurers side. Hospitals compete like retailers and patients are shoppers paying more out of pocket. We see an opportunity to make a better system. We start by helping hospitals understand their patients. What do patients care about most? What drives them to prefer one hospital over another? What is the deciding factor when patients decide to have a surgery or take a medication? How can you support caregivers?

Also, patients use digital media like never before. They self-diagnose using Google. They turn to social media for medical advice. They research online reviews of physicians. We are all digital patients.

Now imagine taking all the data around patients and their online activities and using that to shape care. Maybe a hospital learns that new moms are deeply concerned about their own health when a hospital spends all its efforts on caring for the baby. By taking equally good care of the mom everyone has a better experience. Or maybe a person is considering elective orthopaedic surgery. That person is concerned about recovery time, long term prognosis and risk. Now imagine an interactive video with patient testimonials that are available online to ease the patients concerns. How about someone with a chronic illness who is concerned about the side effects of a medication? Now imagine using a secure patient portal to educate that patient on the medication. All of these things lead to better care for patient and growth for the healthcare provider.

BusinessInterviews.com: Can you share why and how GP practices can attract and secure more loyal patients through better community engagement?

Bill: Today’s patients behave more like consumers than the traditional “patients”. Let’s consider two groups:
GenXers are heavy users of “established” technology and frequently rely on ratings, reviews and peer information when it comes to healthcare. Just as Gen Xers were the first generation to job-hop, they healthcare hop too. Surveys consistently show that they have short term relationship expectations when it comes to healthcare. They expect to change healthcare providers to best suit their needs and spend time researching alternatives. GenXer are the first generation to go from healthcare patients to healthcare consumers.

Millennials tend to be noncommittal in relationships to political parties, churches and large institutions (Pew Research). That suspicion extends to healthcare. They believe the system isn’t about health..it’s about sickness. They believe the system is geared to profit from the elderly and sick and want a system that supports healthy lifestyles. Millennials also refuse to accept the “black box” that other generations do. They know how much their neighbors house costs, what the average salary is for a job and what dealer invoice is for a car. They expect healthcare to be equally transparent. They want to know details of procedures, projected outcomes of treatment and side effects of medications.

BusinessInterviews.com: What are some emerging trends in the healthcare industry that you’re excited about?

Bill: There is so much going on in healthcare! First, predictive analytics will be a big shift in improving quality care. By analyzing hospital data, social media conversations and search patterns, hospitals can predict patient behavior and needs. Hospitals can predict and be ready for flu outbreaks. They can predict emergency room volume and staff for it.

Wearables are another big thing. Wearable devices can monitor blood pressure, heart rate, insulin levels, and more. Real time health feedback is happening now. This is the latest trend in DIY Health.. many of us have fitbits or calorie counting apps. This elevates those to the next level. All this information can also be shared real time with a healthcare provider.

BusinessInterviews.com: How have search engines changed how the public thinks about and approaches their own healthcare?

Bill: We all turn to Doctor Google first. We have a pain or symptom and we Google it. We have access to information on every rare disease and disorder ever diagnosed. Once we get that information we start diagnosing ourselves. Much of the information is unreliable. In fact 50% of all Americans believe at least one healthcare related conspiracy! It’s our job as healthcare professionals to provide accurate, useful information that can be found via search.

BusinessInterviews.com: Can you expand on why you believe that, “If you aren’t uncomfortable, you aren’t doing your job?”

Bill: Imagine you want to run a marathon. Today you can run 3 miles. Even if you run 3 miles every day for 364 days, you won’t be able to run a marathon in a year. You will never bench press 300lbs if you only train with 200lbs, you can’t be a nobel prize worth physicist if you only do 3rd grade math. In order to get better, you have to push to your limits. You have to be uncomfortable. If you go to work every day and do your job 100% perfectly, you aren’t doing a good job! You’re coasting. You’re stalling. You’re about to get passed. You need to push, you need to go to your edges… and go over them! You need to fail often in order to succeed once.

BusinessInterviews.com: How has your definition of success changed or evolved since you first started your career?

Bill: I can’t say I was ever a person driven by material success, but I’ve never been LESS concerned with material items and the associated status they bring. The day I could afford a Mercedes, private schools and a vacation home was the day I stopped wanting them altogether.

Today success means providing great things for my kids, not just material things but a good example and lots of time together. It also means helping others reach their goals and succeed. I love watching our team grow. I’m also a big cheerleader for our community. If I can have even a small impact on our community’s economy and quality of life I will feel successful.

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