Stop Listening to Your Customers

I read a good article this week entitled "Stop Listening to Your Customers." It reinforced lessons learned early on that are applicable today for anyone involved with innovating new technologies for healthcare.

The point of the article is to spend more time observing your target customers rather than simply asking them what they need. You can find other examples of this advice, such as the quote misattributed to Henry Ford that states, "If I had asked them what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."

I have experienced this lesson first hand. One of the more memorable times was when I worked for a large hospital that had implemented an EMR. Every physician I spoke to insisted they needed a tablet. One physician I knew well handed the tablet back to me within the first half-hour of trying to use it. Ultimately, 100 percent of the tablets were returned within three weeks.

Behaviors can be real eye-openers. Look at the Pew Report on patient tracking of health indicators. Travis Good gives a good summary regarding the impact on behaviors and technology adoption.

Most importantly,behaviors can be the key to taking a great idea and developing it into to great solution that is adopted. 

Clark W. is a contributor who has chosen to remain anonymous.

  • Brian

    They asked for tablets and you probably gave them a virtualized desktop EMR via Citrix. If that’s the case then you not only didn’t listen but you also didn’t understand.

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