I’m really thankful that I don’t have any real medical issues. I seldom need to go to the doctor, and I don’t take any medications. My experience at the hospital a few weeks ago really brought to light for me how inconvenient medical care is and just how inefficient emergency care is. What’s most surprising is that I went to a good hospital where all of the nurses and doctors who checked me out were great. They had good bedside manner and truly wanted to help me get better. [Update: I am totally fine, just passed out from exercising too hard and being dehydrated. Thankfully, Julie and my mom are saints and made sure I was taken care of properly.]
I think the issue is far more organizationally related versus personnel related. There was minimal communication between staff members as they figured out what was wrong with me. What was most alarming was that I received different diagnoses on several occasions. My mom spent a lot of time just trying to figure out what was going on. It is unbelievable how complicated a health care organization can become, and health care is already an obscenely complex industry. I think that one possible solution is to work on simplifying the process of delivering care. If the patient cannot understand how all of the pieces fit together, then I would be hard pressed to believe that all of the nurses and doctors understand it. Even if they do, they probably can’t operate well within that framework. I’m not saying that there should be less procedures done, my point is that there are probably a mind-numbing amount of organizational and governmental regulations that everyone must follow, and these are a likely culprit for inefficient, ineffective and overly complicated care.
This issue also relates to the book I’ve been reading called Humanize, by Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant. Notter and Grant believe that organizations are stuck in the mechanical mindset of the early 1900s when people were viewed as cogs in a machine. Businesses now derive value from the insight and creativity of their people, and organizations needs to be structured to amplify that, not stifle it. It is clear that health care, hospitals especially, really need to become more people-centric! The aim of a hospital is to provide care for PEOPLE, but the hospital is built and operated as if it were a machine. How can we effectively treat patients and solve HUMAN problems if we are approaching it from the perspective of a machine? A more organic approach, outlined by Notter and Grant, may be a good prescription for some of our failing health care entities.