Healthcare the Grand Facade...
The Wisdom of Healthcare says...we know it is broken, let's pretend it works and deal with it...so, let's keep using it...what?
As counter intuitive as this is...what is healthcare, as an industry, doing to itself and why is it so dysfunctional? We thought USSteel, The railroads or Standard Oil were monopolies?...Well let me tell you, they were nothing compared to healthcare.
My contention is healthcare is no longer about individual care...it is about following the money and if patients get better or not is just a byproduct of the financial machine we operate under. The incentives are inherently self destructive. Costs are going up, transparency between patient and doctor is poor, doctors are leaving, quality is diminishing, malpractice is rampant, endowments are dwindling and pressure from the CFO to make more money is eroding trust in the system.
What industry, operates in a competitive market the way healthcare is currently structured? NOBODY...so why do they?
Esteemed physicians, brilliant practitioners along with gifted support teams are being led over a cliff with no one to champion their causes. This form of professional abdication is the worst form of hubris when it comes to who is in charge of the system that ultimately looks at the patient last? The problem is too big and it is out of control...let's back up a bit and now see what was old is now actually new again. The independent, small practitioner who actually see patients, takes control of his day and is not held to a maximum time allotted to practice for patients he doesn't even know.
Within this vacuum something is now starting to happen where bright and equally esteemed business entrepreneurs are entering the medical fray with insights thrust upon them by a personal experience where a loved one died at the hands of a medical system that failed for no good reason...I suggest you do a Google search on David Goodhill's speech to doctors at a recent medical conference. This CEO, a successful business man was compelled to get out in front and broke the silence at a speech for over an hour to mesmerized doctors. It took an outsider to share this perspective because he had no vested interest except being a witness to a system that had got it wrong...again. You could hear a pin drop during his remarks...in short he nailed it...check it out, worth it.
Can we as an industry do anything about it? Yes, we can. We can start by admitting there is an issue and people are needlessly dying in the hospital that is there to prevent such occurrences. We can by looking at the way we work and how we prioritize our days...the small conversations with patients and the drive to actually be doing well by the patient first not last. We can also encourage our industry associations, legislators and influencers that this is a problem that needs fixed and I am willing to be part of that solution.
The blame always seems to fall back on something or someone larger and more institutional than taking personal responsibility. Unfortunately, those on the margins, as is the case in many areas of life, are those who suffer as we treat the generally healthy and claim victory...we operate at breakneck paces that ultimately leads to burn out and early retirement...In other words, doctors are leaving to go sell real estate or consult...and so it goes.