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What can healthcare learn from Netflix? 


As it turns out, healthcare can learn a lot from the streaming giant, particularly when it comes to engagement.

When Netflix began, it offered DVD-by-mail services that engaged with its user base on a monthly or perhaps weekly basis. This is analogous to the typical approach of healthcare providers, which is to touch base with patients only a couple of times in a given year.

Flash forward to today, and Netflix engages with its users on a daily basis through content streaming, with customers able to access content at home or on their devices anywhere in the world. It's a model healthcare should emulate, said Harlen.

"The healthcare system looks more like my grandparents' old-fashioned cable TV, when people want Netflix," he said. "You need to expand your mindset and your addressable market."

To do so Harlen suggested thinking about a tenfold increase in interactions per year. The idea is to stop thinking of people as patients and consider them instead consumers who should be known entities to hospitals and health systems before they need care.


This is about establishing an ongoing relationship with people in their health. What health system is ready to step up from a few visits with a patient every year to 50 to 100 interactions with ever person in their community?

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