During my visit to San Diego for the NSCA leadership conference Economist Lee McPheters spoke about the economic changes and challenges facing our nation. While the economy seems a daunting – I think that the needed productivity changes are also a huge opportunities for those of us in process redesign and we just need to find ways monetize the work associated. The American worker has been asked to increase their productivity – put in the extra hours – in hopes to help their company make it through the rough waters. The challenge is we can only work so many hours – we can only work at high capacity for so long before it requires an innovation change.
The interesting change is that while businesses have pushed their employees to be “lean” and move faster and do more with less – the American consumer has become more demanding. They expect more, because they are spending less. The American consumer is adopting the Ramsean principals of if you don’t need it don’t buy it - if you don't have the cash then don't buy it. They are also spending their capital in a more focused manner with a thought process of you should be treated like a customer instead of a consumer and the idea of disposable society should go by the wayside.
So what does all of this mean for healthcare? It means that the patients – who are customers – should be treated as such and that their demands will become more and more extensive.
Let’s Dream Weave?
If my grandma eats breakfast every morning at 6:30am when she is at home, then when she is in the hospital for hip replacement shouldn’t the hospital know when Grandma would like to eat breakfast? Tools like A-Frame Digital and Parental Health’s Misty can feed into her “record” and begin to create a model of how she chooses to be cared for when she is not in her home. The more data we can drive from the home to the health record the more we can allow our parents to age in place.
The scenarios of how we function in the home should model how we are cared for in the hospital. The concept of a Patient Communications Platform should encompass more than just request from point A to point B – it should encompass consumer data modeling that preemptively leads to care.
If I document my life in Facebook and am comfortable sharing it with 400+ of my closest friends wouldn’t I be comfortable with sharing my comfort models with the hospital? If I document my food and exercise in My Fitness Pal (ap on the iphone) then why wouldn’t I share my nureotic eating habits with the place that is supposed to heal my ailments? (What if my ailments are caused by my addiction to Latte’s?)
These models allow us to improve patient care. At Sphere3 we use Performance IndiCares™ which are items relating to the behavior and performance of Caregivers and Patient IndiCares™ which are items relating to the behaviors of the patient. We tie the information together to create Risk Models or Risk IndiCares™ clearly finding paths to reduce risk and improve performance. All of these things lead to our three core values Patient Satisfaction, Caregiver Satisfaction, and Safety.
Health IT companies should feel challenged. If the farthest horizon you are looking at is within the walls of the hospital, then you are going to miss the boat.
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