The Patient is at the Center. Where is Everyone Else?

Why Clinical Workflow is the Next Healthtech Trend

Maya Ber Lerner
3 min readOct 21, 2022


Patient centered care has been a top healthcare mantra for years, starring in health system’s leadership top-of-mind topics and a leading investment thesis. However, a real healthcare transformation isn’t going to happen before provider enablement becomes an equal priority.

Customer centricity in enterprise software

Take enterprise software as an example. The notion of ‘customer success’ in this industry gained popularity only in the 21st century. With the rise of subscription economy, putting the customer at the center to ensure retention became critical. Customer Success platforms like Gainsite and Totango were founded around 2009–2010. Within a decade, being a company that was not OBSESSED with its customers became just plain weird.

Customer success is nothing without developer enablement

In the same industry, it was no coincidence that the rise of developer tools happened in parallel with customer success. The DevOps movement started around the same time:

DevOps is a set of practices, tools, and a cultural philosophy that automate and integrate the processes between software development and IT teams. It emphasizes team empowerment, cross-team communication and collaboration, and technology automation.

Customer obsession didn’t work well with anachronistic dev teams that couldn’t react fast to the customers’ evolving perception of value. For ‘customer obsession’ to be real, internal teams needed to evolve as well.

Patient centric is nothing without clinician enablement

Looking at healthcare, ‘patient centred care’ is similar to ‘customer success’. Patient centricity is not going to generate a transformation without an equal emphasis on enabling provider workflows. Without empowering clinicians, ‘patient centered care’ will keep disappointing.

In a conversation about hospital technology, a surgeon once summarized it brilliantly: “the patient is at the center, it’s just that everyone else is at the computer station”.

Total experience in healthcare

Gartner illustrated this nicely in their 2020 total experience diagram, showing how shared customer and employee experience creates a superior shared experience.

Focusing the efforts on one side of the diagram would result in partial success, and at some point would create intolerable burden on the other side.

Source: Gartner, Inc., Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021: Total Experience, Jason Wong, Michael Chiu, Michelle Duerst, Don Scheibenreif, Brent Stewart, Saul Brand, 28 December 2020

Clinical workflow is next

Healthcare is at a tipping point. Clinicians won’t be able to endure the increasing burden with minimal support for much longer. Health systems will have to shift their focus to retaining staff, removing administrative burden from clinicians and improving morale and productivity. Prepare for the rise of clinical workflow tools.

Do you care about clinicians’ experience? Are you working on improving clinical workflow? Are you interested in the clinical workflow ecosystem? We are too. Join us on twitter or connect by email.