by adgrooms on August 16, 2019

What does care look like tomorrow?

I was thinking about how we have pressed healthcare providers so far into a hole of regulation and data entry burden. What will it look like when we finally get EHR inputs under control. What will it be like when a medical team member can walk into a room prepared with all relevant patient history and information, talk to a patient for as long as they need, and document the interaction with little to no effort? Is it a possibility, or will the growing shortage of medical professionals eat up all of the gains in efficiency? Are we beyond the high water mark of inefficiency?

Maybe it is not a question of if action needs to be taken, but when the urgency of the technical burden will be addressed. What is the timeline of adoption of these new technologies? How do we get to the next point in modernization? And what does the benchmark of progress for providers look like? Evolution into the next phase of healthcare must be driven by technology that liberates providers and empowers patients. Clinical documentation needs to be highly automated, and patient information needs to be owned by the patient. The practice of siloing and commoditization of patient data will someday be a thing of the past with a fully interconnected EHR network.

How do we get there? Who will drive the change? Will it be small, nimble startups or the large companies that are already in the space? It all comes down to risk. Are institutions willing to bet on new software that hasn't been tried in the real world? What is the best way to create a cycle of testing, evaluating, and improving? The institutions that invest in new solutions will be ahead of the rest.

Ultimately, we are striving for improved outcomes, reduced errors, and increased human interaction. Technology cannot replace people in a clinical setting. The best use of technology is to support and enhance each job in an unobtrusive way. Sometimes the solution to a problem isn't a flashy groundbreaker. It is the right tool for the job that is developed with the human experience in mind.

Physicians will always go to work every day to provide excellent care to those who need it. It's their life's work. Technology needs to listen, understand, solve, and get out of the way.