Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Health Care: Radical Innovation Needed

I looked at the pile of reports about my patients at the end of the patient encounter schedule. Twenty or so patients are represented in the information that I review and direct for action or filing.   While working through the schedule of 15-20 patients each day, I also process information about six to ten other patients by responding to questions, signing prior authorization forms so patients with drug allergies might be authorized to get a medication that won't make them sick, evaluating and signing referrals, interpreting crisis lab values, responding to power company intentions to turn off the power of patients who were unable to pay their bill with a waiver form if they are dependent on electrical devices for their medical care, and responding to calls from hospice nurses and emergency room physicians.  

The intrusions that might distract me from focusing on the patients in each exam room have been increasing as "administrivia" increases in medical care.  Family Physicians are tiring as unfunded mandates pile up on the specialty with the broadest array of response repertoires to patient needs.  How do we get around the "sludge"?

Innovation.  Innovation.  Innovation.

Human Centered Innovation-  Not Payment Centered!  Not Physician Centered (Not even Patient Centered which leads to dehumanization and disrespect for physicians).

Radical Innovation- Not Incremental- Not Predictable.

How?  Start with a human perspective.  Stir with some IT.  Fold into apps.  Give them to humans.  Launch and leap ahead.

Check out IFG Health ( and their apps that "protect people's humanity as they navigate the healthcare system."

Human centering starting on the patient side of the patient-physician dyad delivers a radical strategy to level the healthcare playing field.  The context of the patient's life may connect to the context of the physician's situation better with the IFG Health approach.  

Steve Deal, CEO of IFG Health has an array of skills and experiences as a systems engineer with an aggregate 14 years experience- eight years in satellites and simulation, six years in human systems.  He and I published a human systems article about the HCHH and another for The Ohio Family Physician.  I add 39 years of medical experience including 13 with the Center for Innovation in Family and Community Health and serve as the medical innovation advisor for IFG Health.  

Co-founder Rene Rafael Vogt-Lowell serves as chief technology officer.  He has a combined 14 years of service in many sectors of IT including management of emerging technologies for Sinclair Community College’s Distance Learning department and development of eLearning software applications and simulations for both mobile and desktop platforms.

OK, my piles at the end of the day won't disappear this week from one  innovation company.  No one strategy or company will solve the healthcare dilemma, but IFG Health is a radical innovation that feels right.

1 comment:

  1. Great article...the concept works for me. I have wanted to ask the medical person checking me over who is more important... "me or the computer?" But I'm afraid the answer will be "the computer." I know you are on the right track. mas