How to bust myths by using culturally competent research
All of us know what we know, and seldom stop to ponder why. This happens in life as well as work.
We carry assumptions because they help us breeze through our day. They are the brain’s little shortcuts, and at times we may not even be aware we carry them. But if your organization keeps facing the same question over and over again, now is the time to challenge assumptions and uncover hidden truths.
My mission is to help organizations break through these barriers. Our team does this by designing and executing culturally competent qualitative research. You aren’t just asking what. You are discovering why.
Why does it work? It’s because once you step back and open a conversation, you learn what is truly driving behaviors. Now, your team is equipped to make informed decisions, back up your choices with data, and solve problems previously thought unsolvable because you are able to go further upstream than ever.
Much of our work is in the world of health and healthcare. It’s a place where questions abound. Here are few real world challenges we have helped companies tackle:
Why aren’t patients taking the medication they so badly need?
Is transportation making it difficult to get to appointments, or is it something more nuanced?
What would help our families consume healthier foods—is it about access, choice, both, or more?
These are all cases where our well-intentioned clients, hoping to improve outcomes,
risked introducing bias and assumptions into their communication, care, or patient
In the case study below our client wanted to increase utilization of benefits to improve the health of moms and infants.
Health insurers were seeking to understand how and why certain benefits were utilized by pregnant women so they could better craft communications and benefits for this population. As we asked more questions of these patients, we uncovered a few keys truths. These future moms had strong, trusted bonds with their Ob/Gyns who would guide them through their pregnancies with care and compassion. They felt cared for during pregnancy; however, after delivery was a different story. They lacked primary care physicians, they had a profound distrust of the healthcare system in general, plus they had little to no access to birth control resulting in a large number of unplanned pregnancies. It was the a-ha moment.
The opportunity for the health plan to truly fill a medical need and build trust that could result in better health outcomes was not during pregnancy—it was the time between pregnancies when women need access to care to be able to thoughtfully plan and space healthy pregnancies for themselves. The health plan now had research pointing to the critical—and cost-saving—need for patient education and care navigation immediately following delivery.
Challenging assumptions is at the heart of what we do for our partners, and it has been the key to our growth. As we help organizations uncover the true drivers of their customers and stakeholders, they can make better decisions and point their organizations in a clear direction that maximizes investments in people, technology, and systems.
Our expertise is in thoughtfully executed culturally competent qualitative research. At all levels we will help your team come away with cross-sectional ideas regarding how program designs can be improved, implemented, and evaluated from a human-centered perspective.
Many people ask us what we do. I like to say we are a group who specializes in helping organizations who are in the business of helping others.