PatientWay Blog

A day outside the office

Written by Jay Lawrence on April 5th, 2011. Posted in Patient registrations, Patient satisfaction, Patient Self-Service, PatientWay

If you are a marketing, product management or sales professional, you should take note of NIHITO.  No, this is not a Japanese word for April Fool’s Day nor the name of an insanely fast motorcycle – it stands for “nothing important happens in the office”.

Last Thursday, a few members of the team got out of the office to speak with the local tech community about our product and to validate our value proposition. Do people understand our product and do they find it useful? In other words, is it solving a real-life problem, and if their hospital gave them the option to use PatientWay technology, would they use it?

First up was OCRI‘s Ottawa Life Sciences Executive Networking Forum, where our CEO Jay Lawrence talked about the benefits of patient self-service technology and how PatientWay is helping hospitals achieve measurable results by enhancing the registration process.

Our home town of Ottawa is one of North America’s leading cities for health/life sciences innovation.  There is an ever growing presence of private and public organizations that are driving the convergence of IT with healthcare.  So it made sense to reach out and connect with these industry leaders.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the lunch, but most importantly, the presentation and the PatientWay value proposition were well received. The audience, which was comprised of a diversified set of executive leaders (who are also users of the healthcare system), responded positively to the fact that a local company was deploying technology that benefits both patients and providers.

So far so good!

Next up was the Regional Innovation Centre‘s Open House, which was attended by more than 120 tech leaders from different industries and several V.I.P.s, including the Deputy Mayor.

Patrickphoto A day outside the office

Patrick Pichette (PatientWay CMO) with Allen Carpenter and Ken Workun of NetFore Systems



This gave us the opportunity to share our elevator pitch countless times as people visited our station (think of a mini trade show / wine & cheese).

What did we learn?

1. People understand the value proposition.  Everyone was familiar with the airline experience – register from home and check-in at an airport kiosk.  So applying that model to the healthcare system seem to make sense to everyone.

2. Mobile is key.  Mobile was top of mind for most people that we engaged, so our strategy to make mobile a key component of the PatientWay experience (i.e. appointment reminders, PatientWay Mobile app, etc) was well received.

3. Location, location, location. There is no better spot to set-up a booth than between the bar and the shrimp appetizer table.

4. People love wayfinding maps! As part of our offering, we can map out every sector of a hospital and provide wayfinding maps for the touchscreen kiosks.  We have always viewed wayfinding as a great complementary, nice-to-have option, but some of the folks that we engaged saw it as the killer-app.

wayfinding A day outside the office

PatientWay wayfinding map


Sure, everyone nodded in agreement when seeing the pre-register / check-in process in action, but when the hospital maps came out, so did the horror stories of being lost inside a hospital (a hospital basement can be a scary place).

5. Ottawa is a true hot spot for innovation.  From Heliocentric (who has completely removed the need for radioactive isotopes from the medical imaging process) to Eneristics (who’s mission is to improve energy efficiency and reducing wasteful energy consumption), the Capital region is full of success stories.

Spending the day outside the office, engaging the community, allowed us to validate the fact that we are delivering products that people find useful.  We spend the majority of our time working with hospitals and other healthcare organizations – we have immersed ourselves in their world.  As a result, it can be easy to make the other key stakeholder (i.e. the patient)  an afterthought.

We have seen the research (and have heard many anecdotal stories from our clients) that patients are ready to embrace self-serve technology.  But last Thursday was a nice refresher, as we heard from our community (who are patients of the system) that our technology is relevant and provides real value to the patient experience.

Thank you Ottawa!

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