Jobs to be Done

by Larry Emmott on October 28, 2014

in Health Care Politics,Just for Fun,Management

A useful way to evaluate business issues and anticipate conflicts is to examine what business researchers call “Jobs to be Done”.

As dentists the job we are trying to do is often not the same job our patients want to do and it is not the same job the insurance companies and other “payers” want to get done.

What job do our patients want to do? I submit for most of them the job they would most like to do is to never ever see a dentist. Since that is not quite possible the more workable job would be to have any dental treatment done to the highest standards of excellence in as quick and comfortable a manner as possible with few hassles and at a low price.

What job do “payers” want to do? The best answer is to never pay a claim. The more realistic job is to pay legitimate claims as quickly as possible, at the lowest rate with as little expense as possible.

What job are dentists trying to do? Save the world from ugly diseased teeth and get rich doing it. We can restate that in a better manner: provide an essential service treating and preventing dental disease and enhancing health and appearance while being compensated in a manner that reflects the value of the service.

Of course you can see the problems. The patient does not want to do anything. The payer is OK with that. However the dentist wants to do…something.

The patient might do something if he believes he “needs” it. The patient wants the best possible care done quickly, painlessly and it would be better it someone else pays for it.

The job the dentist wants to do is provide the “needed” service at a level of quality that meets or exceeds the patient expectation in as an efficient a manner as possible. (Efficient means with the least time and expense.) Then to be paid a high fee immediately.

The patient is OK with the quality and efficiency but not so much on the fee.

The payer would rather not pay so the payer will look first for a reason to deny the claim. Barring that they will eventually pay for the least expensive option; quality, comfort and speed are not part of the payer’s job to be done.

Let’s review: The dentist and the patient are concerned with quality and comfort; the payer doesn’t care about that. The patient and the payer want a low fee; the dentist wants the opposite.

What does this somewhat cynical look at jobs to be done have to do with technology? Actually quite a lot,

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