Dr. Janice Johnston | Crain's Phoenix

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Dr. Janice Johnston


Founded in 1997, Arrowhead Health Centers now has six locations across Arizona and has received the National Committee for Quality Assurance's coveted Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition at Level 3. The grade is the highest level given by NCQA, a nonprofit whose standards are closely followed in the healthcare industry. AHC provides a variety of specialty treatments, all under one roof.

The Mistake:

I wasn’t really looking at the whole patient experience, from A to Z.

When I first started out in my career, I was so focused on my piece as the physician: listening to the patient, gathering history, doing the best exam I could, coming up with my diagnosis and recommending a plan of treatment for the patient. I felt that I did that really well.

I was just focused on my little portion of it. Looking back, I can see that all of it is important, from how the staff answers the phone, to how friendly someone is when the patient checks in, to understanding and being able to pay their bill. 

If I recommend a medication for you, can you actually afford it? A lot of times we talk about compliance with people – whether they’ll take their medicine. So much of it is about affordability.

Are you able to get to my office? Can you actually do the exercise program that I’ve recommended?

I’ve tried to step back and look at the whole thing from the patient’s perspective. 

The Lesson:

Physicians are now focused on their very small portion and not looking at the whole picture. 

I think that as I’ve progressed through my career, I’ve tried to step back and look at the whole thing from the patient’s perspective – through the whole process – to make sure that we’re doing as much as we can for each portion of that.

Follow Arrowhead Health Centers on Twitter at @AHCnow

Photo courtesy of Dr. Janice Johnston

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