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How to Improve Patient Experience and Make Money Too!

Isn’t it time that cancer gave you back something other than the stress, anxiety, and financial devastation?

What if cancer gave you some extra money?

The best part…  Everything you need to get that extra money for the things you need is based on the traumatic experience you’re already living.

Plus you can make this situation better for someone else in the future.

But, how can you make some extra money for the things you need when you…

  • Are having a really bad day and can barely get out of bed.
  • Spend way too much time sitting in a doctor’s office.
  • Have a crazy chaotic schedule that makes it hard to work a regular job.  

One of the best ways to do that is to check out Savvy Cooperative.  

Young cancer patient smiling as she's being hugged by her caregiver. Text says How to improve patient experience and make money too!

What is Savvy Cooperative?

Their motto (which I love) is “let’s make healthcare suck less.”

It’s the first and only patient-owned co-op that empowers the patients (and family members who are caregivers) to GET PAID for sharing their own health experiences to help create new products and better services.

It was founded by two patients Jen who grew up with Juvenile Diabetes and Ronnie who has Cystic Fibrosis who wanted to make sure people who shared their health experiences were fairly compensated. 

They’ve been patients their whole lives.  So they created a marketplace where people who have experienced medical situations can easily share information about their patient’s experience to IMPROVE health care services and products. They’re helping to create more effective care.  That’s why they’re patient-owned and why the majority of their profits go right back to their members. 

Because the truth is…companies who are creating the products to help you get through a medical issue are frequently doing that without the experience of patients, meaning NO PATIENT INSIGHT.  They would ask doctors but were not asking the patient…

They’re missing a HUGE piece of the equation… If you want to know if something is working, ask the PATIENT (or the caregiver) who is dealing with it.

Like seriously, the guy who invented the hospital gown… should have asked a patient who actually had to walk the hall flashing the whole hospital.   That might have turned out differently if he had.

P.S. Feeling overwhelmed by everything that comes with this disease?

The Cancer Binder Pack will walk you through the quick and easy system we used to organize our medical information.  Step-by-step instructions, printable forms, and monthly calendar pages so you can ALWAYS find what you need when you need it. 

What are they doing with this information?

Here’s a great example of how the patient experience was able to make a significant impact with a very popular product in recent years…

You know Alexa?

  • “Alexa, turn on the lights” (so I don’t trip walking up the stairs).
  • “Alexa, add apples to my shopping list.”
  • “Alexa, add Dr. O’Brien to my calendar on May 8th at 2:00.” 

If Alexa could cook dinner, she’d be just about perfect.

But Alexa wasn’t perfect for people who had a stutter.  In fact, she was pretty much useless.  Until Amazon was able to reach out to patients through Savvy Cooperative and add an additional setting for accessibility. 

You can read the full article here… but basically, Alexa now has an additional setting that waits until the person is finished speaking, giving someone with a stutter more time to finish the command. 

And now Alexa is accessible to a lot more people who need her.  🙂

What About My Privacy?

Savvy Cooperative is committed keeping your personal information secure. They use “industry-standard technical, administrative, and physical controls to protect personal information from unauthorized access, loss, misuse, or alteration.”

Information is handled within the company on a “need to know basis.” 

Here’s the thing about privacy… You have to weigh the risks and the benefits.

Real changes cannot take place in healthcare organizations without important information.  Reflecting on real patient interactions and experiences, real side effects, and real patient outcomes is exactly how change happens in the healthcare industry.  

It’s how you get a better patient experience.

You can’t change anything without talking about it, identifying the issues, and considering possible solutions.  That’s how you get the changes that lead to more positive experiences in medical care.

That’s how you develop new strategies, better quality of care, and how healthcare facilities continue to grow and evolve.

 If you want to create a more positive patient experience #askthepatient.

Immunotherapy for example, was released as a treatment for Lung Cancer the week my father needed it.  We couldn’t even access it as a treatment where we lived (it had literally just come out), thankfully we were getting treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering.  You know what happened a lot for us, God lined everything up for us… 

Anyway, do you know how it became a treatment?  

Because people with Lung Cancer were willing to take a shot in the dark and try Immunotherapy as a clinical trial.  

And because of those clinical outcomes, Immunotherapy was later given to my dad as a treatment.  That treatment gave us a lot of extra time, that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.  And it was still working at the time that he decided to stop treatment.

Why choose Savvy Cooperative?

Savvy was named one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s 50 Most Daring Entrepreneurs for its unique model that empowers patients to use their health experiences and leverage their networks to increase diversity and inclusion in product development and commercialization.”

There’s a lot of rules and regulations regarding companies’ ability to talk to patients about their consumer experience.  To counteract that, Savvy Cooperative created a marketplace where companies could pay patients and caregivers to share their experiences via surveys, focus groups, interviews, product testing, and more…

These methods help companies get the information they need to make better products and offer better services and allow the patients and caregivers to get paid (cash or gift cards) for their insight.

Savvy Cooperative is changing health systems and helping to create better health outcomes.  

After all, that’s the whole point, right?  Not only is it the right thing to do, but it’s also improving best practices and patient care. Finally, we are creating products and services that are actually working for the patients who need them.  

Think about it.  

This is how we develop more patient-centered care and better outcomes.  It’s the first step in giving people new ways to make a positive impact on the healthcare experience.  

Because what they’re doing with this info is using it to help people create more positive interactions and experiences with healthcare practice by asking you (the patient or caregiver) how to make it better.  #itsabouttime 

What are gigs?

The gigs are the paid “assignments” that are offered to patients and caregivers.  

  • Interviews
  • Surveys
  • Product testing

These gigs go way beyond patient satisfaction surveys, these gigs ask real and in-depth questions about your patient journey.  Each gig gives you a clear outline of who and what they’re looking for.  They also tell you how much you’ll be paid for participating.  And some of these gigs are paying big money.  

Some gigs offer cash.  Other gigs pay through gift cards.  If you’re on a medical disability or social security the gift cards are great (Visa prepaid, Amazon, Walmart). 

The gigs change all the time, so what’s there today might not be there tomorrow.

I saw a gig last week that was paying $500 for 9 hours of your time.  You had to read some medical jargon and basically let them know if you could understand it. 

That’s $55 an hour for questions you can answer from the comfort of your home in your pajamas (hint:  this is a judge-free zone, so don’t worry about your Mickey Mouse Pj’s.  I’m wearing mine now…????)

There are other gigs paying $110 an hour!  What was the last job you had that paid you $110 an hour?  

And each gig clearly lays out the guidelines.  

Here’s an example… I just saw a gig that outlines how you can’t participate in this interview from a doctor’s office or hospital (I assume because they’re going to ask you personal questions and they want to respect your privacy).  

Other guidelines are things like must be able to take screenshots.  (Find a kid anywhere and they can get you situated with screenshots).

Why do I need to verify? 

You have to submit proof of an illness.  You’ll need to verify that you are in fact a patient or a caregiver.  Why?  Because people scam the system.  They apply as patients to get the money.

In most cases you’ll only have to verify once, there are a few exceptions.

I’m verified as a cancer caregiver, but I personally have A-Fib.  I may need to prove that to apply for any A-Fib related gigs.  Or, You may need to submit evidence of medications (or whatever) if it’s part of the gig.   

They’re working on a system that allows you to verify different medical issues as soon as you sign up.  It’s not quite ready yet, but that’s coming down the pike soon…

What are they doing with all this information?

Savvy Cooperative works with companies who want to avoid wasting time and money on products and services that won’t work.   Companies who are…

  • Making healthcare better for the patients who are enduring it.  
  • Making the products you need better and more functional for your life.  
  • Making the services they offer better and more in line with what you need as a patient.

They’re helping companies get real and incredible feedback from the people who are going through this.

And there are a lot of gigs related to cancer.

But don’t take my word for it…  Check out their online reviews.  Savvy Cooperative has been featured on CNBC, Forbes, The Boston Globe, Med City News…

How do you get paid?

Gift cards on top of cash

Some gigs offer cash.  Other gigs pay through gift cards.  If you’re on a medical disability or social security the gift cards are great. 

I just completed a gig, that did not have the option for cash.

I got to choose from 95 gift cards including… 

  • Visa prepaid physical gift card
  • Visa prepaid virtual gift card (for online purchases)
  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • Old Navy… 

And a TON of others!

You can also choose to donate to a charity of your choice.

You can use the gift cards to pay bills or get the things you need.  Or, you can turn those cards into cash…

Savvy Cooperative pays quick, usually within 24 hours of finishing the gig.  

What’s The Process?

Note: Steps are done one by one and followed up with email communication.  So for example… 

You’ll receive an email to complete step 1, once that’s done, you’ll receive another email outlining the next steps.

Email communication will walk you through everything you need to do.

1. Sign up for the gig. 

When you find a gig you like, that you qualify for…

You submit your application and verify that you are appropriate for the gig.   The gig could be a survey, an interview, product testing, etc.

You apply for it right in your Savvy Cooperative dashboard.  

They take you back through your profile so you can confirm that all the information is still correct (which is great, because how often do we actually remember to update that kind of stuff?)  

Then you submit it. 

2. Verify that you’re eligible for the gig.

You need to verify that you’re appropriate for the gig.  Why?  Because there are scammers out there who sign up for the gigs but are not qualified and are probably not patients or caregivers who are simply trying to get the money.

You can verify who you are in a number of ways…

I verified myself as a caregiver with a letter from our insurance company confirming that my husband has been diagnosed with cancer and that they were approving his treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.    

You should only have to verify for each situation once, however…

If later on down the road, I want to complete a gig on A-Fib (which I have), I would have to verify as having that, since at this point, I’ve only verified as a caregiver.

3. Your application is sent to the company, THEY choose the candidates.

Once you submit your application and verify that you are appropriate for the gig, Savvy Cooperative sends your application to the company in charge of the project.  

The company in charge of the study chooses who they want to participate. Savvy Cooperative does NOT choose who participates in the gig.  

 If you’re chosen you’ll get an email inviting you to participate in the study and asking you to click the button to accept the invitation.  

They also request that you complete the survey within a specific time period after accepting the invite.  The gig I just did was one week. 

4. Register yourself for the gig.

Once you accept the invite…

  • You fill out a consent form 
  • Complete a registration page 
  • Read and agree to the terms of service.

Then you’re ready to complete the study.

5. Complete the gig.

This gig was in-depth questions about mental health during caregiving.

I had to respond with written answers.  It was estimated to take about 30 min.  It might have taken longer for me as I tried to include as much detail as possible.  

Some of the gigs with questions and answers can be completed in stages.  You can take a break and come back to it later if you want to.

Once the gig is completed, you submit it and you’re done.

6. Claim your reward.

You’ll get an email usually within 24 hours (for this gig it was literally a few hours later) thanking you for your participation and giving you a link to claim your reward.

For this gig, I had the option to choose from 95 gift cards including… Visa prepaid physical debit card,  Visa prepaid virtual gift card (for online purchases),  Amazon, Walmart, Texas Roadhouse, Old Navy… and a TON of other options.  

You can also choose to donate to a charity of your choice.

You can use the gift cards to pay bills or get the things you need.  Or, you can turn those cards into cash…

Finally, they send you an email to confirm that you received the reward and a quick survey to give them feedback on the study.

That’s it.  

You can see the gigs they have available right now by clicking here…

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