Population health has become the lynchpin of healthcare delivery in the United States, especially since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March 2010. (This law was passed due to the unsustainable costs of US health care coupled with less than stellar population health outcomes in the US.) A key way the ACA proposes to reduce health care costs is through the formation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO). These are networks of doctors, hospitals, and ancillary health care providers who form networks to coordinate patient care and share financial and medical responsibility for that care. Required by ACOs is coordination by primary care physician, care of Medicare patients, and answering to multiple measures of quality. Providers get paid more for keeping their patients (their local population) healthy and out of the hospital.
Two weeks ago, a $1 Million prize was announced in San Francisco Bay area: The Palo Alto Longevity Prize. Palo Alto Investors and guru Yoon Jun will award the money in batches to those researchers able to restore to youthful parameters certain physical functions in elderly animals. The group ultimately hopes to unlock the key to immortality.
Wow! After that first wow, all I could think about was why there are no prizes for:
Figuring Out How to Age Comfortably, Gracefully and with As Much Quality of Life as Possible;
Emphasizing the Improvement Over Quality, Not Quantity, of Life; or
Tackling the Awful Problem of Falls in Our Elderly.
The Elderly Falling….hmmmm….that just doesn’t quite have quite the “sizzle” of immortality, does it? Nonetheless,It Is A Big Deal! Continue reading →
In my earlier days of social media (specifically #hcsm -healthcare social media) I felt that extending the healthcare information reach implied further engagement ONLINE. After all, with so many edifying healthcare tweet chats, a plethora of compelling healthcare conferences, multiple supportive and informative patient/disease chats, and a virtual banquet of really smart, passionate people to engage with: What’s There Not to Love; So Just Extend, Post, Link, Chat and Tweet Away!
All the above remains true and is, gloriously, ever increasing. Granted in some areas of healthcare social media there is a lack (perhaps lag) with respect to MDs on Twitter, but I am convinced that will change soon. With respect to the ultimate potential of healthcare social media, the sky is the limit.
We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or we can rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. – Abraham Lincoln
Human beings seem hardwired to complain. To breathe is to complain, it seems. No one on earth is immune to complaints, or complaining! Unfortunately, the landscape can be so inundated with criticism, the more serious issues may be overshadowed, and left without the necessary ‘space’ for meaningful discussion.
In the healthcare arena, superficial complaints, which are a dime a dozen, are mixed in with well founded complaints. In the past, physicians usually held the most power in healthcare. Now there are many stakeholders, each viewing themselves as having a lot to lose (or gain). With the new empowerment of patients (called ‘consumers’ by some), and increasing power of government and industry, comes more engagement, more disagreements, and more opportunities to make suggestions or criticize.
Empowered customers are more demanding than ever….One of the ways businesses provide value is by doing the little things right…and that includes handling complaints. – Stan Phelps
The skill to listen and to give ourselves the time/space to reflect on what we observe is central to a good life. Quality listening allows personal and professional growth, sustains our relationships and promotes learning. Without the ability to listen, we place ourselves out of range of others, and thus unable to gain valuable insights from them, or to provide help and answer needs. For a fulfilling personal and professional life we must acquire the skill of honed, effective listening.
Although most of us recognize the value of listening, human nature possesses a strong impulse to share, and, even, to be first to speak and to voice our opinion! Despite both a need and desire to listen, humans have a nearly irrepressible urge to interrupt in order to share their own point. Such impulses can, and do, crowd out the other personsʼ words, insights and desires whereby they may never be heard.
Listening in Healthcare
Recently the topic of listening has been getting a major public airing in discussions regarding doctor/patient communications. Continue reading →