Clarify Health and the 21st Century Patient Experience [Interview][Transcript]

Dr_Jean_Drouin_clarify_healthGuest: Dr. Jean Drouin
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Jean Drouin, MD is CEO of Clarify Health Solutions. He has 20 years of experience in healthcare management, analytics, strategy, operations, and cultural change. Jean is currently Vice Chair of the Board of Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific. Jean holds an MD and MBA from Stanford University and an AB in Molecular Biology from Princeton.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, Dr. Jean Drouin, MD, CEO and co-founder of San Francisco-based startup Clarify Health, talks about helping healthcare providers to create a 21st century patient experience.

Transcription – Clarify Health

Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to the program. I’m your host Neal Howard on this Health Supplier segment here on Health Professional Radio. Thank you so much for joining us today. Our guest in studio is Dr. Jean Drouin. He’s CEO and founder of San Francisco based startup Clarify Health. He’s here to talk about helping health care providers to create a 21st century patient experience. Welcome to Health Professional Radio Dr. Drouin.

Dr. Jean Drouin: Thank you. Pleasure to be with you.

N: I’m glad that you could join us today. If you could give our listeners a bit of background about yourself.

D: After college, I wasn’t pre-med during college but I had a good fortune of going to work in South Africa with the main delegates of government to help them figure out how to bring out electricity to the townships. I realized then at that moment that I didn’t want to be a lawyer after all. Really I wanted to be in and around the issues that would help society and the health care seems to be something that wasn’t about to go away.

N: You have founded or a co-founder of the start up called Clarified Health. Being involved in providing electricity to a country, you must have a lot of experience in workflow. In health care the workflow very so much and is quite intense. Do you think that the workflow management that equipped as far as health care is concerned?

D: That’s one of the big things that let me to not go on to practice and instead to side, to go down the management track in health care. To begin with, any health journey is complex to start, simply because biology throws quite a few unexpected branches as people go through their workflow so to speak. But what’s being somewhat disappointing and shocking and very much creates the opportunity that we all look at today in treating the 21st century patient experience is that if you look at what’s available outside of health, whether that be in the hospitality sector, in hotels or in retails or even sending packages across the country with UPS or FedEx, the level of service and seamlessness of the experience is miles away from what we have in health care. We have the firm conviction that the conditions now exist to create that same kind of experience that we’re used to in other context and bring that into health care.

N: In your experience and in your opinion why do you think that there is this lack in health care as opposed to the other industries that you mentioned when it comes to quality of service?

D: So interestingly health care and perhaps education are two sectors that for very good reason and understandable reason have not been structured as normal market. The patient in this case is usually not actively spending mostly their own money in making decisions about what care to get. That introduced the way of things for health care where the decision on purchasing the services if you will was the associated who was ultimately paying. In health care most of the countries, each employers that pay for health or for over 65, it’s Medicare. Then Medicaid picks up another set of folks, but as a result of it, hospital management, provider management never really face the same pressure, let’s say the leadership for FedEx or Amazon or Motel 6 faced in having to deliver and experience that means that people who want to purchase what they’re offering. That’s now changing, in part, because the government is coming out with new ways to pay for thing. It’s creating more managerial discipline. So as the result of it, the providers are turning around now and they’re saying, “Okay, if we want to be successful and compete, we need to up our game.”. So that’s one aspect. The other important aspect is that patients and their family members are starting to demand it. And that maybe by the way the stronger forced here.

N: Now that we’re as consumers, we’re demanding better care, better service, part of this as you say that this 21st century service experience is making it, so that we want the service that you’re offering and at the same time not feeling that we have to demand it. Is that where you’re trying to get us, so that we don’t have to demand it, that is expected?

D: If you think about going through health care journey, such as a hip or a knee replacement or from I was just diagnosed with cancer to I am now in remission. That process which has a multiplicity of interventions and means that you and your loved ones have to take days off work, etc. There’s a lot of waiting and waiting rooms is not only anxiety produced thing. Today incredibly frustrating but we accept it because it’s the way it is and we always have. It turns out that we now have all the tools that are disposal to take a lot of that workflow and process waste and inefficiencies that caused the aggravation that we imposed on patients. Instead be able to guide and pilot patients and their loved ones through a much more seamless, and okay, delightful might be too high apart to aim for at the moment, but at least journey that has a higher degree of dignity and a minimum amount of hassle in a couple of very specific ways in which one can do that. For example, “Why is it that we don’t today, when someone is diagnosed with something, immediately gives them an end to end road map of their journey?”. That’s perfectly possible to do instead of saying, “Hey, as the physician, I’m only going to give you the next couple of steps on a prescription pad, and then you’ll going to have to go and search the internet and go to some forums to learn from others what you’re likely to go through.”. That’s just a very small example but it’s the act of just prescribing as a physician not just drugs but also the map to guide you. Perhaps the app that can then allow you to communicate back and forth with the care team. So that, a bit like when you turn on your driving direction when you’re on the road, you’d have the same thing guiding you through that previously anxiety producing journey that was not revealed to you, where now you have some greater clarity on what’s going to go on.

N: How does Clarify Health cut through all of these barriers that you’ve mentioned, that have been in place for generations? How does Clarify Health cut through this and basically orchestrate the care team, the patients, the caregivers and every one on the same page to the ultimate benefit of the patient?

D: Two or three things that are critical. One, is you have to be able to bring together the sets of data that allow the creation of the real time movie, if you will, of the patient’s journey through an episode of care. That’s now possible to do. It’s possible to link clinical with claims, with patient reported data as you’re either gathering data from their wearables or the surveys that they can fill out from their phone, letting you know how they’re doing. So that’s one big piece of it, is knowing what is going on with the patient. The analogy here is the same as FedEx knowing because they put a tag on your package, where your package is in it’s a journey from San Francisco to New York, so that’s number one. Number two, you have to engage physicians in being willing to work in a different way. If you hear a lot of people say that physicians are resistant to change, what I would say is physicians want to be sure that the change they’ll make will do two things – it will improve the lack of their patients and it will not create additional worker aggravation for that. In this case technology can create a double win. That’s a very important part of this. Then the other is you find a couple of innovators or forward thinkers who put it into practice, and because there’s new payment model in place where if you do things well, you will get some bonuses.They start speaking about it and then everybody starts coming in and saying, “Could I do the same thing they just did?”. Those are the three of the ways as you say cut through what has typically been a very tough marketing which to innovate because it’s well known and it typically takes 17 – 20 years for proven innovations to scale themselves across the health system.

N: Where can our listeners get more information online about ‘Clarify Health’?

D: Absolutely, it’s and you’ll find lots of information on the site about what it is we do to help patients. And also to convince physicians to be in on the game of helping their patients to have a much more Amazon or Disney like health care experience rather than what we’ve all accepted in the past.

N: So, basically coupling an improved bedside manner with the technology and guidance.

D: Beautifully said.

N: Well, I’m glad that you could talk with us today.

D: Thank you very much.

N: Thank you. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard. In studio with Dr. Jean Drouin. He’s CEO and Co-Founder of Clarify Health. He’s been talking about helping health care providers to create plea terms a 21st Century patient experience. Transcripts and audio are available at and also at You can subscribe to this podcast at on iTunes, listen in and download at SoundCLoud.

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