The Future of HEALTHCARE is NOW

 “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you make them feel.” ~~ Maya Angelou

There is no other country in the world where there are higher costs for Medical Care. We have made incredible advances in technology, pharmacology, research, development, robotics, and precision medicine. We have algorithms that help guide treatment for various diseases and can help predict what we may need in the future. We have slowed the progression of chronic diseases, created models that can predict who may become ill and have strategies to develop a prolonged and better quality of life as we age.

Technology has truly changed everything in our healthcare system from patient information with the data we collect (EMR, Electronic Medical Records), the diagnostic tools available and surgical procedures that have become so efficient and successful that they require little or no hospital stay.

However, with all the new advances in the increasing world of technology, Population Health (data driven medicine and value based outcomes) and ACO’s (Accountable Care Organizations) a very complex system of delivering care has been created. Technology has created a maze of rules, regulations and payment based on data.

Along with this medical technological revolution, physicians often spend more time documenting care and what procedures and tests insurance covers then delivering care.

“Never let a good crisis go to waste” ~~  Anne Harbison

Even with various versions of healthcare reform, we are continuously confused by the actual or real cost of care by the healthcare provider, the actual fee paid to that provider, the negotiated fee paid, and the cost to us; the consumers in our insurance premiums and co-pays.

Transformation of the System

Healthcare is discussed daily, in the news, by our politicians and by each and every one of us who are consumers of care and its skyrocketing costs. Healthcare is so complex – we always talk about change; but what kind of change? We relay greatly on our physicians and clinicians for care, however, how does the healthcare organization care for them?

Our system of Healthcare no longer focuses on health, but concentrates on illness. There are disparages and variations in care across different healthcare settings and a payment system that is not aligned with patient outcomes. How has our accessibility to healthcare driven by where we are employed?

The process of changing our behavior is part of the need to change our model of delivering healthcare to all.

Is there a Vision for the Future?

Organizational structure, management structures, operational efficiency, comprehensive data sharing, reimbursement overhaul, healthcare coaching and a workplace design that is much better suited for care and collaboration needs to be implemented.

Primary localized care, telemedicine and virtual health become readily available. Health education and practice beginning at the elementary levels and continues throughout each grade level must be part of our nations curriculum.

Empathy, communication and lifestyle medicine must be part of physician training.

Changing organizations and changing systems also comes down to changing our behavior. Research suggests that 70-80 percent of personal health care is NOT based on physician and pharmacology, but factors such as nutrition and physical activity. Where is the public’s accountability for unhealthy behaviors and lifestyles?

We as consumers must become empowered to be accountable for our own health and the choices we make.

I anticipate that our emerging leaders and innovators will create a collaborative system where patients are cared for, enhanced patient education and engagement methods will be utilized and clinicians are not over burdened and exhausted. WE have the experts now to create a better more affordable, transparent and accessible model.

The Future of Healthcare is Now.