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In search of better, SIMPLER healthcare

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The simple life: A reconstruction of the inside of Henry David Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond.

Ian Morrison discusses the search  in other sectors for lessons to create a simpler, more cost-effective healthcare system with better medical outcomes.

He writes in a Hospitals & Health Networks piece:

“Forget healthcare for a moment and think about other service experiences in your life. How much time do you spend on your phone? Is it the vehicle for your life? Is it your primary gateway to your family, friends, travel reservations, recipes, dates and data?

“The complexity of health care is being judged against other industries that seem to effortlessly deliver services in ways that are simple and easy to use. And not just with mobile apps.

“Think Southwest Airlines. It flies the same planes on all routes so crews are interchangeable. Southwest keeps it simple: no bag fees, no tricks. And it still gives you peanuts.

“Or think Netflix. It knows what you like and makes it easy to binge watch House of Cards without leaving your couch.

“Or Amazon. It will get you absolutely anything on your front doorstep within a day or two. Maybe an hour or two when it gets the drone thing down.

“Or Uber. You press a button, and a Stanford graduate student picks you up in his Prius in three minutes, and you don’t have to tip him or fumble for cash.

“These businesses are backed by enormously complex technology and logistics. They use sophisticated algorithms to customize the user experience. It is immensely difficult to design and execute these services, but to the customer it appears simple.

“We need to learn from them. And we can find signs of simplicity in health care.”

He then gives some hopeful examples from healthcare:

Kaiser Permanente

Covered California

Concierge medicine


To read Mr. Morrison’s piece, please hit this link.

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