I do not like going to the hospital and personally I feel more sick whenever I visit any hospital. I always fear of falling in a revolving door trap, where once you get in you keep coming back again and again. Oops they call it follow-up visit and if they have to charge you, it can even be named as secondary consultation. I was wondering, why do I have such a feeling? Let’s find out the basic reasons:
1) Why do I go to the hospital at all? Usually I go to hospital when I am seriously sick or someone close to me is seriously sick. In both the cases, I am not in any mood to see anymore sick person. Unfortunately, most of the people around you are either sick or relative of a sick person. Overall, the environment makes you feel more sick.
2) How people treat you? Usually, the doctors and nurses consider themselves on altogether a different planet when they compare themselves with the patient and their attendant. You usually get a feeling that you are not welcomed at this place.
Sometimes, I wonder, why don’t doctor and hospital treat patient as a customer? Why are they still carrying that moral barrier which is preventing them from calling the health care (rather sick care) as a business? They seem to be traveling on two boats.
The fact is — health care is a business. There is a huge amount of money involved in buying equipments, managing facility, paying salaries, etc. Either government or private companies needs to arrange for this fund. So, I do not see anything wrong in calling this a business. Like any business, in health care also you will have Business owners (service provider), stakeholder, customers and vendors. They all have well defined roles to complete the health care work flow.
Customer has a need, which may be completely clear to him/her and many times customer may not know anything about his/her need. As a service provider, it is our duty that we explain to the customer about his/her exact need; without any exasperation. Once you are convinced that customer understands his/her need, then help him/her in finding a way to fulfill that need. I see this aspect seriously lacking.
Of course, during an emergency situation, doctors may not have enough time to follow all the goody goody things. However, if there is an intention and focus on considering patient as a customer then I am sure sick care has a strong chance of getting converted into health care. At one end our culture says “Customer is God” and on the other end you don’t even get the respect that a fellow mortal being deserves.
Whenever I think of health care system, I think about a system which empowers individual to take care of themselves, foster responsibility and human dignity, improve health, enhance quality of life and build a healthy community. I expect it to be available, affordable, accessible, patient-centered, prevention-focused, purpose-driven and solution-oriented. I expect people to be respected, loved and wanted.
While I may be sounding idealistic, at least we deserve an optimal health system should:
1) Eliminate acute / rescue /sick care through proactive approaches
2) Provide comprehensive solutions where best practices are delivered every time
3) Include clear information that highlights best performers regardless of their approach and reward the performers for the outcomes they achieve and not the cash they bring or procedures that they perform
4) Recommend effective solutions that work for consumers, drives impact and transparently shows the benefit of the solutions to the customers
5) Must have a very strong feedback management policy to keep looking for ways to improve
Unfortunately, my ideal expectation is falling far behind in real life. At best I find sick care systems and some of the time I find few hospitals providing solutions close to what I call an optimal health care. By the way, that is not a bad thing. At least, it is better to get cared when you are really sick and get back to your true life again. Of course, you will have to help yourself. In fact, there is a saying as well “God helps those who help themselves”. However, I wish, we can achieve an environment where we start seeing
This is a video, I found very inspiring. While it does show the working model of so called health care systems, what it also shows that you must be responsible for yourself and for the people you care. If you have time, please do see this video by Chef Dina Knight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yPn1ylMEM8.
If you liked this post then I will also request you to put your thought regarding
1) how to achieve real health care
2) how to improve focus on prevention rather than just focusing on cure