When the Beatles released their song “Revolution”, the radical political left severely criticized it. John Lennon, the song’s author, sympathized with the need for change but rejected using violence to achieve those ends. Like Lennon, I want change, but not in a way that destroys the healthcare information technology systems we currently use. I like these systems to be better designed, implemented, and used while allowing for continued upgrades and evolution.
Focus on Change
My revolution focuses on changing how we leverage healthcare IT to improve outcomes while preserving the investments we have already made. We need a revolution in how we use healthcare IT.
Healthcare requires this revolution because it is fraught with enormous problems. The aging of the baby-boomer generation, with its increasing need for services in the U.S. and other high-income countries, poses a formidable financial and capacity challenge. Mid- and low-income countries, especially those with high birth rates, experience similar issues.
The world needs more doctors, nurses, and other clinicians to care for patients effectively. Even the U.S., which spends over 18% of its GDP on healthcare, expects a shortage of over 120,000 physicians by 2030. And the nursing shortage is even more dire. While the pandemic worsened the clinician shortage, the trend line pointed in the wrong direction before 2020.
Healthcare Balance Sheet
And as we spend more on healthcare, we do not experience a comparable improvement in care. The healthcare balance sheet needs to reconcile. Inherent in every medical intervention is a value-based transaction that includes the treatment the patient receives, efforts of the clinicians, and the resulting outcomes. The value of the clinical transaction must correlate with the monetary value paid for the care.
This correlation is the most profound value imbalance in healthcare, and it reaches from the patient and physician encounter to the costs and profits of the entire industry. Using healthcare information technology in revolutionary and well-planned ways will deliver desirable patient satisfaction, clinician retention, and clinical and financial outcomes. These results will go a long way to address our healthcare challenges.
I look forward to your thoughts, so please submit your comments in this post. And subscribe to my weekly newsletter, “What’s Your Take?” on docsnetwork.com. Thanks for your time today.