Healthcare leaders across the United States are scrambling to catch up with the shift that is occurring across our healthcare system. It may shock you to learn what it is all about. The patient. I know, crazy right? For the past 50 or so years our system has placed the patient in the backseat of their own healthcare. What’s worse, is the bus that we have been driving them subscribes to the motto that you find on bumper stickers – “sit down, shut up, and hold on.”
The ride we have taken them on is expensive, scary, and often ends up with them in the hospital.
What is worse, during the final stages of their life, the bus is spending the most money on needless tests, medications, and surgeries trying to extend what little of it they may have left.
Ask how many people have had a loved one die in the hospital, and the majority of hands will usually go up. You can’t blame hospitals and doctors. They are trained to keep people alive. And what’s worse is that they are paid to do so, even when the best course of action may be to just make them comfortable and live out what remains of their life in dignity. With loved ones around them. Somewhere comfortable, like home.
So what’s the problem? The problem is that the system has not been designed around what is best for the patient. In fact, just the opposite. The system focuses on what is best for the provider of healthcare rather than the consumer of healthcare. That is about to change.
This change will require strong leadership. Leadership that challenges the status quo. Leadership that will focus on creating a patient experience that puts the patients’ needs first and foremost. The kind of leadership that stands up and defends the patient. That’s how it should have been to begin with. But better late than never.
In future posts, I will look at why our healthcare system is looking to shift their focus and what challenges this will pose for healthcare leaders across the United States.
This is where we will separate the real leaders from those who just talk the talk. The entire system is skeptical of change, and it will take someone to walk the walk and lead entire systems into a brave new world of healthcare. A world where the patient comes first, where they become the drivers of their own healthcare system, and healthcare providers become the passengers and navigators. Sit down, shut up, and hold on.
My name is Mark Behl. My passion is Healthcare Leadership. I share ideas, not lectures. If you would like to share an idea with me, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you come back for future posts.