Healthcare Problems To Discuss in 2011

We’re now more than 10% into the 21st Century. Here’s where we are in Healthcare today:

  • Most hospitals still use paper to record your most important information
  • Many of the best minds in Healthcare are nowhere to be found online – we have great ones, but we need more, more, more!
  • Doctors and nurses are getting in trouble for using iPhones in the care of their patients
  • Social Media Literacy in Healthcare – to a large extent – isn’t even at the pre-school level
  • Many providers don’t offer patients simple electronic tools and media to keep in touch
  • Facility-acquired infection rates are practically genocidal. Gen. O. Ci. Dal. Genocidal.
  • Mental Health is still called “Mental Health”, in spite of scientific evidence suggesting that the brain, not some mysterious fog, is responsible for our consciousnesses
  • Physicians are losing respect and reimbursements are declining
  • Nurses are overworked, are treated as expense items and burning out
  • Clinical collaboration is not as technologically swift as it can be
  • We treat many of our ‘elderly” like crap (sorry for the language, but it’s true)
  • Consumers continue to get bombarded by confusing and contradicting messages about health
  • Healthcare disparities continue to widen –  and still: even the rich will get screwed (again, sorry for the language, but it’s true)
  • The Life Sciences industry still doesn’t quite see itself as a provider of Healthcare solutions – today’s technology has the potential to break-down the schism between Healthcare and Pharma
  • Hospitals are still largely run on models based on the 19th Century factory
  • Domestic violence, including violence against children, still isn’t getting the attention it deserves
  • We have yet to fully understand how the ever-creeping infiltration of rapidly evolving technologies affect our health
  • The health-related data we radiate gets lost because we aren’t exploiting the technologies which could help to do that
  • The United States of America has no backup generators for Healthcare in the case of economic collapse or natural calamity

The list goes on.

Step back and re-look at the list.

Does this anger you?

Does it make ANY sense to you that this is where we are with Healthcare?

What happened? Never mind. It’s in the past.


So: what can we do now?

Not much at the top level – it’s daunting and politically frustrating. Disagree? Then go knock yourself out. 😉

We can, however, do small manageable things. Work at the local level. Persuade a hospital to change its visitation policy for the better. Take a nurse out to dinner. Eat less refined sugar.

Technology is another, especially as cost decreases as power increases:

  • Mobile
  • Social Media
  • Augmented Reality
  • Gaming
  • Clinical Collaboration Media
  • Advanced Diagnostics
  • Biomedical Advances
  • Personalized Medicine
  • Near Field Communication
  • Personal Health Records

Again, the list goes on. Things like Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Simple solutions too, like mindfulness training. We’ll riff on all that too.

Technology certainly is a big part of the solutions to our problems in Healthcare.

It’s not everything. We still need to address culture, education, recruitment…politics. Ah politics.

But we can spur conversation, spark imagination, start communities, lead others and ignite new projects.

We’ll discuss them here on Health Is Social’s blog, our Twitter Pleasure Dome, in our Newsletter, on RNchat, on MDchat, at conferences, in workshops, in interviews of smart people who care about what matters.

That’s what these media are for: to make differences that matter.

Anyhoo –

Health Is Social.

Always was, always will be.

Let’s work together – here and everywhere else we work – to make Care healthy once again.


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0 Replies to “Healthcare Problems To Discuss in 2011”

  1. well done! i’m optimistic, i think our HC providers and patients age, we’ll converge better via technology and access. but there is such a disconnect between physicians/practices and their fear of technology (amplified by their lack of time and ability to bill for it) and the patient’s desire for MD accessibility. btw, the iPhone nurse story is one of my faves–the story is analogy to every workplace challenge, as well representative of the fear & loathing of change within the hospital setting.

    1. Agree about the iPhone story.

      I think a lot of the solutions may have to be at the ‘local’ level (local as tackling smaller chunks – not necessarily geography).

      I’m expecting this year to be very interesting!


  2. Phil, this is brilliant! I especially thank you for mentioning the ridiculous divide between “health care” and “mental health care.” It’s all health as far as I’m concerned.

    The first list does make me angry, because I can’t really put my finger on WHY we are so backwards in health care. What’s the block?

    And, at this point, by not being plugged in, as a profession we really aren’t providing optimal care. We’re phoning it in and everyone deserves better.

    1. Hi Susan

      Yes, I’d like to see more advancement with respect to ‘mental’ health. I think we’re still way behind the times here.

      This is by no means a jab at Psychiatry, but psychiatry hasn’t really advanced in 50 years – certainly whatever advances have been made aren’t 50 years worth!

      What’s advanced is neurobiology and psychopharmacology.

      So hopefully, we’ll see better convergence of these different sciences, without letting go of the realities of the human condition.

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