The Need for Speed in Healthcare

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 Blog post by Joe Babaian

“How did it get so late so soon?”
― Dr. Seuss

We find ourselves expecting things fast – Amazon Prime was known for two-day delivery a short time ago. Then it was next-day delivery. Now in major markets like Houston, I can receive most items the same day. Who doesn’t want it now? We live in the now, technology gives us the feeling, and often the reality, that everything is a click away – even health and wellness.

The current state of “now” medicine is changing almost daily with telemedicine roaring to the forefront, urgent-care clinics and ERs promising to treat you immediately and get you on the road again, cancer centers creating satellite facilities down the street, Lyft & Uber-like options for house calls, and a plethora of #DigitalHealth devices that make it seem as if you can manage your health now from the comfort of your screen. Clicking our way to better health – is it that simple?

There’s no going back to simple visits with Marcus Welby for sore throats and the occasional visit to the ER in the city center for a broken bone. Society is on fast-forward and that requires a new foundation of care, access, and tools to meet the evolving needs of populations never anticipated 30 years ago. We need to step up to the realities of the system as it exists now and be ready for what comes next.

We touch on the Uberization of Healthcare when Melinda Beck of the WSJ posits in “Startups Vie to Build an Uber for Health Care”:

Services splint strains and suture wounds on-site; Are house calls better than ER visits?

This week on #hcldr, let’s talk about the Need for Speed in Healthcare and what the implications really mean. It’s time to discuss how we see things now, our experiences – good and bad, what we see coming next, and most importantly, what we are doing to make it happen in ways to assure real care, better access, and innovation across the board.

Some thoughts to get you thinking:

  • Does the healthcare revolution of fast/instant access include all populations? Low SES? Undocumented? No coverage? Children? Rare diseases?
  • Who pays for all these new channels/speeds of delivery?
  • Who finances/encourages innovation?
  • Is Theranos just one sobering example of what we should expect when it comes to the demand for fast medicine / innovation?

Let’s consider where we’ve been, where we are, where we need to be as well as the implications along with the #hcldr community of professionals, patients, clinicians, administrators, lurkers, counselors, social workers, designers, and advocates!

Please join us on Tuesday, October 15, 2019, at 8:30pm Eastern (for your local time click here) as we discuss the following topics:

  • T1: How has the demand for speed changed the experience & costs in healthcare? Pros? Cons?
  • T2: How does faster healthcare delivery impact access to care across the board?
  • T3: What are your experiences with quick access to healthcare? What would you change?
  • T4: What can be done to balance fast healthcare delivery with quality medicine so that we move forward with the best care and access for all?

Image Credit

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

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