The healthcare space has obviously been through some pretty dramatic changes in recent years. In the most recent episode of Transform It Forward, I sat down with someone who knows all about the rapid evolution of healthcare technology.
Transform It Forward with Neetu Rajpal: Evolving the healthcare insurance space through tech
Neetu Rajpal is the Chief Technology Officer at Oscar, the first health insurance company built around a full-stack technology platform and a relentless focus on serving its members. In her role, Neetu oversees Oscar’s fully cloud native distributed software stack and the IT infrastructure.
Neetu is clearly very passionate about improving the healthcare experience for members, providers and partners. It was inspiring to hear from someone who is so driven to create positive change and improve outcomes for everyone involved.
Understand the context
For Neetu, much of her career has been propelled by a desire to make a strong impact. She told us that she’s always wanted to work on projects that make a difference in a way that’s culturally appropriate, which is why she’s always understood that context matters.
“I have forever wanted to just do things that are meaningful and impactful… I try to be very, very diligent about actually learning the context first and holding back quick answers to problems and solutions as I see them, and then try to introduce context to like why is it that it is this way? So, what are the things I can change without just breaking everything? Context matters. I think timing matters. I think the environment that you live in matters. I think that’s one of the biggest mistakes students make, which is not paying enough attention to the context.”
I admire Neetu’s mentally healthy attitude towards transformation. I wanted to know her strategies for driving changes within her team to ensure they all feel proactive enough to solve problems themselves and pivot as necessary.
“I think the most important thing is to help the people in your team understand what it is to change that you’re bringing about and why and how they can be helpful. Depending upon the environment you’re in, sometimes people need very clear guidance in terms of, ‘I really need you to do this, and this is what success looks like in my head.’ And if you can bring about this success, this is where it fits into the larger picture I have in my head and then actually letting them do their job in peace. I think that is the other very important part where it’s like if you can define success for people, then you can define it in ways that is measurable and achievable and then empower them with resources and an ability to do it. Then I think most people really appreciate living in that environment. They know how they can help, you know, how they can move things forward. I think being very transparent is usually my key to it.”
Driving better outcomes
As far as Neetu’s hopes for the future of her career, Oscar’s business trajectory, and the healthcare industry as a whole, she wants to see more innovation and transformation so we can continue to serve customers better. By making decisions that are best for the consumer, Neetu and the team have been able to lay down some effective guiding principles that have enabled them to continuously improve their offering.
“I can tell you where my hope is. My hope is that there is enough tech in the healthcare space that you can bring new and advanced experiences to consumers in such a way that consumers start demanding more of them. I hope it starts a snowball effect that causes more consumerization to happen in this industry. More consumerization in this industry probably shows up in forms of more competition. It shows up probably in terms of more control for the consumers to be able to influence how they want to experience healthcare in the U.S. And I hope that Oscar has a huge part to play in it.”
Overall, Neetu says that she and the team at Oscar are all about driving better outcomes for their customers at the end of the day. Because after all, making customers happy is the best thing any business can do if they hope to continue thriving into the future.
“I think our guiding principles are always about asking, ‘what is it that I can do to help drive better outcomes?’ Because fundamentally, if we drive better outcomes, then it’s probably just going to be good for business anyway. But driving better outcomes is the foundation that we were founded on.”
- During a transformation, help your team understand why change is needed. Let them know how they can be helpful. Neetu recommends painting a picture of what success looks like for your team, then empowering them with the resources they need to achieve that vision.
- Look for ways to move the needle. Neetu landed her role at Oscar because she was looking for a way to apply her unique skill set to a problem. She knew she wouldn’t be able to fix everything at once, but she wanted to use the resources she had available to create positive change.
- Consider how you’re providing value, and for whom. To stay on track with their goals, Neetu and the team at Oscar consistently keep their end user in mind. In everything you do, make sure it will ultimately add value for your consumer.
- Drive better outcomes. Another guiding principle Neetu and the team at Oscar live by has to do with driving better outcomes for everyone. By focusing on creating a better experience for their end user, they’re also creating better outcomes for the business overall.
- Stay connected. Oscar also prioritizes a high level of connectivity with their members. By staying in constant communication, they can ensure they’re creating a highly personalized, value-driven experience.
Listen to the full podcast episode here and subscribe for updates wherever you get your podcasts.