Healthcare is undoubtedly one of our most complex industries, with its many inputs and outputs and impact on patients, families, and the people caring for them. Twenty-first-century healthcare is our country’s most challenging industry, beset by disparate forces from all sides, including governments, payors, and providers. To address these challenges, we must change. Change our technology systems. Change our processes and workflows. And change our expectations.
Humans have a predisposed resistance to change, but to improve healthcare, we must overcome that resistance.
And we must pair our willingness to change with a similar enthusiasm to adapt. Change and adaptation work synergistically. Luckily, humans are good at adaptation, which is the most significant reason for our success as a species. We can apply the natural selection that has led to the success of our species to healthcare.
We must change as individuals to change our healthcare processes to serve patients best. We must work as hard as possible to remove inefficiencies, disorder, randomness, and chaos from our workflows. And we must replace undisciplined, unscientific medical-care delivery with fully informed, data-driven healthcare and shift away from episodic medical practice to a value-based delivery system.
Charles Darwin, writing in On the Origin of Species, put it this way:
“It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and to adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”
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