I’ll make this brief. I need to get something off my chest.
As both a doctor and business innovator, I’m often offended when I see the social stratosphere circulating with comments about how “health was never designed with the patient at the center”. This is extremely misleading and inaccurate.
Lets get something straight….the genesis of healthcare was invented with the ‘patient-at-the-center‘ for many centuries.
However, what has changed, is everything around this core tenet of our Hippocratic oath…the markets, competition, reimbursement, incentives, business models, technology , and so on. Unfortunately, as an industry, we have been sluggish and resistant to accept that change is inevitable; and have steered ourselves off path over the years.
Our ability to keep up with this exponential growth has paralyzed an industry, and resulted in counter-productive conversations about what our system should be. We should rather rally as a team and an industry and use this time to figure out how to more effectively evolve as an industry, together, in an ever-changing marketplace with new innovations being introduced on a daily basis; and that we must figure out how to re-imagine our system to continue to keep the patient at the center of care that was once done for many centuries before.
It pains me to believe that people actually think it is the intention of our health system to not want to deliver care that is patient-centric. For centuries, health care has always been about putting the patients lives before our very own. We (medical professionals) took the oath, and it still serves as the core tenet of everything that we do.
It is our duty as leading health innovators to help them (medical professionals), help us (patients). It is not an ‘us’ vs ‘them’ problem. It is ‘our’ problem, collectively. It is our collective responsibility as doctors, patients, executives, innovators, futurists, entrepreneurs etc. to not reduce our industry down to mere perspectives that make for great sound bites, but to rather rally as a team and figure out, in the context of all of these great exponential advancements, how do we bring back the patient so that they are at the center again…as it was always intended and should be in healthcare now and in to the future.
The fundamental role of medical professionals, in my view, will unquestionably change over the next decade and beyond; however we must create innovations that empower them to deliver patient centric care, not inhibit it. To make this happen, it will require patients to take some responsibility and accountability for their health actions as well.
So, I challenge my colleagues and peers to start seeing the glass as half full and start having productive conversations to see how we can re-imagine our care delivery system to re-put the patient back at the center of care by coexisting with technology. I am firm believer that technologies, if implemented properly, can be highly positive for our industry; but we will fail to realize the benefit of such progress if we continue to poke fingers and alienate the very people we depend on to care for us.
I, for one, am extremely excited to tackle this challenge, and hope others will join me in this expedition to re-imagine care as it once was while leveraging all the goodness in the innovations that are here, and yet to come.