HxRefactored Sneak Preview: Judith Weader, Customer Experience Strategist, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island
What is your burning mission in health and why?
JW: I want people to have access to affordable, quality health care so they can live their lives to the fullest. Health insurance is a big part of that equation, and I want to inspire and empower my co-workers so that we can be a positive, supportive partner for our customers.
What is your patient story?
JW: One of the most intense patient experiences I ever had was when I was in the hospital to deliver my first child – my daughter. No matter how much you’ve read or learned about beforehand, nothing fully prepares you for having a child. When I was being prepped for my c-section, and the anesthesiologist pushed the spinal anesthetic, my blood sugar dropped like a stone and I started to feel incredibly sick and dizzy. I explained the situation to the anesthesiologist and he immediately gave me a sugar drip – which brought me back to normalcy. It was a perfect example of a healthcare provider listening to and trusting a patient, and that made the rest of the delivery a snap for me. Even better, with that knowledge under my belt, I was able to educate the anesthesiologist helping with my second c-section 3 years later, and he pushed sugar right after the spinal, so I never even had a moment’s difficulty. It was through those two deliveries that I learned that as much as I wanted to have a great obstetrician, it’s also incredibly important to have a great anesthesiologist, too! When doctors listen to and work with their patients, the experience is better for everyone.
What new health-related website, app, or technology do you think will improve health?
JW: I think integration on the mobile device will be of critical importance in the future. People don’t like fumbling with multiple passwords and systems, so integrated systems that combine weight-management tools with pedometers/speedometers and wellness incentive programs will encourage and educate patients without adding additional complexity. The more we make it easy for people to do things that are healthy – like tracking what they eat, how much they move, etc. – the more likely they are to do it.
Why should people come to your session?
JW: I’m here to show that you can improve the customer-centricity of an organization, even with limited resources. If a company operating in a traditionally paternalistic industry like health insurance can think more like a retailer, anyone can make customer-focused changes that improve their customers’ health and the company’s bottom line!