How Do We HEAL our HEALthcare System?
If you believe as I do that our healthcare system is broken, then we can probably agree it’s time to do something about it. For me, the answer lies within its name. When we take the HEALing out of HEALthcare, we lose the very purpose it was established for.
Sadly, instead of care being focused on health and healing, it is often driven by the financial bottom line. In many cases, WEALTHcare would be a more appropriate title for the current system of delivering medical services. Many times money seems to be more important than the outcomes of the human beings involved.
Whether you’re a Care-Giver or Care-Seeker, the current dehumanization in healthcare impacts you. On a daily basis choices are being made without our best interest being considered. Until we return humanity back to healthcare I believe we all will continue to lose.
For Care-Seekers these losses include losing the ability to advocate for themselves and the people they love. They feel like their words often fall on deaf ears. Ultimately, they don’t receive the care of which they are deserving.
Care-Givers are not immune to these losses either. Most of us are in this field because we truly want to make a difference in the lives of the people we are caring for. However, we often find ourselves unable to do this because of the environment we work in.
How can any one of us change this huge dysfunctional animal? The answer is in uniting and standing up for a system that serves all of us better. Together we have the power to demand a change to occur.
The first change is bringing humanity back to Healthcare. Not in the sense that we’ve heard before. Patient centered care is a must, but alone it is not enough. We need care to be centered on BOTH parties in the healthcare equation.
When we place value on Care-Seekers AND Care-Givers true humanity can be restored to healthcare. Add mutually beneficial collaboration to this and the magic starts to happen. Although this method seems very simple, it is powerful and effective at connecting human beings.
One of the best things about restoring humanity to healthcare is the cost. Yes, there will be some time involved to implement this concept and yes, time is money. However, when you compare this to the price tag that dehumanization currently costs all of us, the investment is minimal.
Poor patient outcomes, Care-Giver burnout and employee turnover cost us millions of dollars. Not to mention the emotional toll it takes on both Care-Givers and Care-Seekers. How do we put a price on the unseen damage done to all of us as we attempt to swim upstream in all this disempowered dysfunction?
If we are truly being honest, I don’t think we fully understand how much suffering has been caused by this system that is meant to heal. The more conversations I have with people, the more I hear how both sides are conceding to totally unacceptable conditions. There’s a sort of giving in, in order to not give up.
There has never been more urgency than right now to address this issue. We must take a stand to recapture our humanity and stop the spiral to the complete dehumanization of our healthcare system. We need to start a revolution and the time is NOW!