As a child, I always felt safe. Growing up in a neighborhood of unlocked homes where every kid could enter any house to play with other kids as allowed by the neighborhood mothers. The moms watched over the children and kept us safe and in line. They also had occasion to use branches from the same weeping willow tree as a switch. I remember hearing,"Go get me a switch from the willow tree and it better not be too small," on a few occasions, as did my playmates. In this environment, we were safe and everyone was neighborly.
I wonder if our medical care system could explore becoming more neighborly. Shouldn't people be safe in the system? Shouldn't we have a safe area where we could rely on a simple set of rules and personal relationships to deliver honest communication about important issues? What about expanding a neighborhood health care concept? (without willow trees). What about timely information sharing in the context of ongoing relationships?
Would it be neighborly to work together toward mutually beneficial outcomes? Would it feel comforting if we would apprise each other about risks and benefits of our considerations? Would we expect mutual revelation of reasonable estimates of pain, suffering and expense? Would we find an "adult" switch to provide respectful feedback to keep each other in line? Would we try to protect each other, our friends and our families from undue hardship?
Would it be neighborly to use sociotechnical innovation such as social media via cyberspace to relate in a timely manner?
A Human Centered Health Home (HCHH) could be a step in the right direction. Humans first, caring and neighborly, is possible as we head toward the next wave of health care. Just imagine...