Hosted by Medtronic manager Saul Marquez, the podcast tackles a wide range of healthcare issues through interviews with innovators in the field. And just recently, one of the show’s guests was MPIRICA’s Founder and CEO, Shakil Haroon.
The full conversation is well worth listening to. But if you find yourself pressed for time, here are a few highlights:
How We Got Here
First, Shakil touched on why consumers need MPIRICA in the first place. Why do patients struggle to find reliable quality information?
Shakil stops well short of casting blame on any particular actor. He does, however, point out that healthcare quality is “an area fraught with mystery, and to a great extent that mystery is highly profitable for providers.”
The dearth of quality data means that provider marketing campaigns will have an outsized impact on customer perception. In many cases, patients simply lack an alternative.
Small wonder, then, that providers aggressively push their message into the marketplace. “There’s hundreds of millions of dollars at stake,” Shakil said, “and so there is an intense desire to stand out.”
That’s all fine, until the marketing starts to interfere with genuine change:
“It makes sense for organizations to put their best foot forward […] and be known as uniformly excellent throughout all service lines […] but I think believing in your own press can be dangerous because it limits true improvement from happening. […] It’s a mistake. It’s a pitfall.”
Startup Stumbles — and Successes
Shakil was also candid about the unique trials of life in a startup. To future founders out there, he imparted this lesson: “Mistakes are what we eat for breakfast.”
If you found a company, and stumble along the way, Shakil assures you that you are by no means alone. He discussed some of MPIRICA’s early hiccups, and how they eventually led to a more refined, more focused version of the product.
But it’s not all struggle. Shakil also shared some of his favorite moments as MPIRICA’s CEO. “One of the things that I’m most proud of,” he said, “ is being an information resource to our own State of Washington legislators — in particular our State Senator Karen Keiser.”
By sending information on quality variance to Sen. Keiser and other legislators, MPIRICA supports them as they make informed decisions about Washington’s healthcare programs.
“I feel particularly proud of an early stage company delivering information of this sort that’s so critical to literally millions of patients,” Shakil said.
The Future Belongs to the Adaptors
That sense of solidarity with patients is a driving force behind Shakil’s work — and it was part of his closing thoughts in the podcast conversation.
“I think we need to accept that we are all in this together — patients, providers, payers — and accepting that transparency and data is going to be the key to our future, both in terms of health as well as financially.”
Undeniably, it’s a tumultuous time to be in the industry. His time in the startup trenches, however, has taught Shakil to be optimistic.
“We have an exciting time ahead. […] The organizations that come out on top are the ones that are best at adapting to the change that is happening. […] I look forward to seeing what the next wave of change will be.”
If you’re excited about that, too, you should give Outcomes Rocket a listen.
Note: In the podcast, Shakil mentions that MPIRICA Quality Scores are available for users, free of charge. While accurate at the time of recording, this is no longer the case. MPIRICA currently offers surgical quality reports on specific procedures and locations.