The problem in a nutshell
The US Health Care Business Model is Broken. It’s an “Illness Profit System” not a Health Care practice. It is not data-driven by the quality of outcomes and there is no price transparency. Also, insurance models prohibit universal access, they are risk-averse. For example, from a recent Delphi Panel of health care expert practitioners:
“…the current US health care system is basically a giant money-laundering operation”
The COVID19 pandemic stretched the healthcare system to a breaking point. Its inherent fragility was exposed, and it has not recovered from the shock yet. Re-configuring these systems (or interlinked subsystems) requires a shift in our thinking from the traditional design model of efficiency to the emergent model of effectiveness.
For example, basic policy questions remain unanswered either by the healthcare system itself or the supposed government regulators:
1. Do pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility to provide medicines to those in need, or is their primary purpose as corporations to maximize value for shareholders?
2. Does the government have a responsibility to provide medicines to the public, or is its role to incentivize companies to make medicines available by linking increased profits to the provision of important products?
- Approach care delivery as an ecosystem. Bring the service to the patient, not the other-way around. Decentralization of delivery points (i.e., home, community, medical office buildings and hospital campuses) linked together with state-of-the-practice technologies. It should be noted however that the rapid spread of the most recent COVID19 variant (Omicron) is driving delivery of diagnostics to residences and neighborhood locations.
- Deploy a multidisciplinary design approach Technically this is known as sociotechnical design. In this instance the new design paradigm has four disciplinary components.
- Space – user experience metric
- Communication pattern – patient/caregiver collaboration
- Management focus – total wellbeing
- Culture – Community context respecting the past, designer in the present with a view towards the future.
Call for Action
The first step is to build awareness of ‘why, what and how’ among target market leaders.
I will be posting details for each of these four design factors in coming blogs.
Will the circle be unbroken? Take us out Iris: