Rethinking hospital healthcare delivery.

As most of us remain homebound facing a virus that is unprecedented in our lifetime, we are beginning to understand that returning to normal will not be returning to the lifestyle we were living before COVID-19. The transformation that we will experience in our lifestyles will impact our healthcare system. Americans have taken for granted that the system would be there to protect us when we needed it. It cost our society nearly 20% of the Gross Domestic Product to maintain the current system and we have naturally assumed it is the best in the world and will have our back. However, today we are disillusioned as we see the daily statistics on COVID-19. We hear the pleas for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and for ventilators to save lives and not put our heroes in this battle against a virus at greater risk. Our expectations of the ability of the healthcare system to cope with our healthcare problems has been substantially eroded, despite the extraordinary performance of the doctors, nurses, and emergency personnel throughout this crisis.

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Filed Under: changes in healthcare, covid-19, hospitals

Mental Health Cost of COVID-19

We as a nation are facing a pandemic that threatens the fabric of our society -  We are aware of the need for social distancing and washing of  hands frequently. Those messages have been received.  However, as the reality of our isolation is beginning to sink in, we need to turn our attention to the mental health cost, as well as the physical and economic costs, of this pandemic. There is no doubt in my mind that this experience will impact each one of us, no matter our background or socio-demographic. We will each never be the same as we come through this crisis. Our lives have been altered in ways we don't yet even understand. Our confidence in our health system is being destroyed. We have lived with the belief that we had the best healthcare system in the world. In many ways, that is still true. Day-to-day our health system is one of the finest in the world, but now we're facing the reality of the limits of our delivery system. 


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Filed Under: healthcare quality, changes in healthcare, medical access, preventive healthcare, Mental Health, coronavirus, quarantine, telehealth, covid-19, social distancing

Telemedicine's Role in Today's Healthcare

We live in an age where the process of communication always seems to have an intermediary involved. We text rather than call; we gossip on social media; we ask Amazon to send us things by talking to "Alexa"; we receive higher education in the form of online courses, we use AI to select potential romantic partners, and now we're eliminating another significant human contact point - the physician. We're moving into the era of telemedicine. While the training for physicians now includes becoming more people conscious and having as much EQ as IQ,  we are telling them to be effective and efficient because the future in medicine is going to be delivered remotely. If I sound troubled by this phenomenon, I must confess that I am. Yes, I do believe that telemedicine will be more efficient, but can it deliver the quality interaction that is so essential to an effective diagnosis?
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Filed Under: doctor shortages, healthcare quality, patient satisfaction, changes in healthcare, corporate wellness, medical access, preventive healthcare, Mental Health, coronavirus

Patient isolation is affecting healthcare delivery.

Healthcare delivery is traveling along the same road of interpersonal interactions as all other aspects of our lives. The examples are numerous. The younger generation receives most of its information through a mobile device and utilize text as the preferred medium of communication. When we shop at the grocery store, we used to have a pleasant conversation with a highly competent employee when we checked out. Today, we slide bar codes across a computerized scanning system that calculates the cost of our purchases as we self bag our items. When we seek information by utilizing our phone as an actual telephone, we most likely, sometimes to our frustration, talk to a computerized voice system instead of a person.

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Filed Under: healthcare quality, patient satisfaction, medical access, preventive healthcare

3 Steps to Make the Most of your Doctor Visits

 Preparing your questions ahead of time makes a big difference. There have been numerous studies in the past few years focused on physician-patient interactions. Physicians continue to be under increasing pressure to move through their patient load as expeditiously as possible. This is true with our primary care doctor as well as with the specialists we frequently need to see.  As a result of this time crunch, we often leave our physician appointments with the sense that many of our concerns were not addressed because the doctor did not have sufficient time for us.
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Filed Under: healthcare quality, patient satisfaction, concierge healthcare, family medical history, preventive healthcare