Flexible Design Environments are needed to Accelerate the Delivery of ‘Care Anywhere’
BOSTON 21 October 2009 - The time is right to create a primary care system that really works for everyone. In the near future, all patients will have convenient access to the information, education and care that they need to manage their health effectively, all the time. Health care providers will be able to care for patients in the right place at the right time, even when the right place is in the home or community. Realizing this dream requires challenging many of the traditions and assumptions that have driven the delivery of care and have informed the design of our current care delivery environments. Innovation is difficult in those environments.
There is a way to move forward.
Health care organizations that are prepared to innovate in primary care
must create flexible design environments that will support and
accelerate innovation. These environments must be live clinical
practices that innovate at the point of care. The critical components
that will enable these new environments to succeed will be:
- A commitment to collaboration with patients. The patient is potentially the most potent innovator in the game, and when we include them in this work we’ll get it right. A successful care environment will welcome the patient as the expert in their personal health care journey and recognize that the patient must have input to new approaches to care and to the new processes and technologies that we will create.
- Flexible, robust care teams. A care team must have the skills, time, flexibility and resources to work with patients to try new approaches to care. The team will be able to interact with patients in non-traditional ways, breaking away from the current office visit paradigm to a care model without walls.
- Dedicated Space. The physical environments that support new care models will be different than existing primary care facilities. It is crucial for care teams and patients to get out of their current environment and for health care organizations to clear space for new physical facility designs to emerge.
- IT and Telecomm tools. Information technology and communication technology that connects the patient easily to their care team and enables proactive conversations, sharing of records and educational information and remote monitoring. The technology to accomplish this exists now and will be adopted more readily in the right environment.
- Experts in systems, technology and process design. Experts will be present in a flexible design environment to work with the patients and care team to provide or design tools that support this new care delivery system. Organizations like CIMIT currently have this expertise and are ready to participate.
- Financial support. New medical practice environments will escape the broken fee-for-service payment system that stifles innovation and prevents primary care from realizing its full potential to elevate the health of a population at a lower cost. As new care models emerge and are proven effective, payment schemes will begin to support them. It is unlikely that effective payment schemes will appear without innovative care models leading the way.
There are real challenges that must be
met for organizations to create these environments. Those challenges
can and must be overcome for our primary care delivery system to innovate
and evolve. Health care organizations that commit to the development
of flexible design environments as a strategy to creating a better delivery
system will enable their care providers and patients to lead the way
into the future.
Co-Program Leader, Clinical Systems Innovation
David will be a participant in this years Innovation Congress October 27th & 28th 2009 in Boston. For more information on attending please visit the Congress site
CIMIT Blog is a publication of the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology