WANTED: Better Medical Mousetrap

A very close friend of mine is in the hospital as I write these words.  His condition is very serious and, of course, we are all hoping for a speedy recovery.

The care he is receiving at the hospital probably saved his life.  That’s a win, of course.  But his experience at the hospital is just the latest in a string of hospital visits by family and friends that remind me over and over again that medical care HAS to be managed….….by the patient or an advocate for the patient.

Hospitals in this country (can’t speak for other countries) are pretty darn good at addressing emergency critical care.  They are getting better and better at treating cancers and other conditions.

What they are NOT good at, in my anecdotal experience, is managing the care of individuals who have been admitted to a hospital.  What I have experienced is that the initial attention is usually pretty focused and relatively efficient….particularly in the critical care units where the staffs are frankly quite brilliant.

Stabilize the patient.  Well done.

….but then what comes next always seems disjointed and uncoordinated.  Multiple teams with multiple specialties all treating the patient using some centralized system of record keeping that apparently doesn’t do a good job of sharing information between teams.

How many times have you found yourself in a situation where a doctor has come by the hospital room and announced that we need to take the patient off of XYZ drug because it will harm the flux capacitor system….only to be followed shortly thereafter by another doctor saying we’re doubling XYZ in order to “blah, blah, blah”.

Now I’m not blaming doctors and nurses for this problem.

It’s a complex world they live in and what they need is a better system.  A better system should make for better care, shorter hospital stays, less expensive care, and greater transparency for everyone from medical teams to patients and their families….while presenting the information in a way that each different audience can easily and intuitively digest and act upon.  Brilliant….right?

Developers…opportunity knocks.  Get me something by Monday.

Lives surely depend on it.

2 Replies to “WANTED: Better Medical Mousetrap”

  1. The problem is third party payor, insurance. If insurance were offered which specified the amount paid to the patient for a given need, with any unused portion reverting to the patient, capitalism would solve the problem. Supply and demand would rule.

  2. I’m in favor of injecting some more capitalism into the healthcare market….but whether that happens or not, the issue of a better system for communication between healthcare professionals and patients/patients families specifically while the patient is hospitalized is desperately needed. Having just gone through Harvey and being impressed with the amount of information and data available to me EVEN WITH OUR POWER OUT left me even more impatient about this hospital stay problem.

    How to pay for healthcare in this country? Big problem and tricky to solve perhaps. How to communicate during a health event? Big problem but not that tricky in my view.

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