Danny Lieberman talks about improving healthcare by taking a page out of the chip industry, designing a process, ramping it up into mass production and then driving down costs with continuous improvement.
There is so much buzz on social media in healthcare today – and just about all of us, including our physicians are on social media. Can physicians kick the habit and start using social tools to improve the health outcomes of patients and leave the Facebook and Twitter updates to the marketeers?
Let’s rephrase that question
Can social media help you improve patient care and reduce costs?
“The vast majority of physicians are already using social media; Facebook tops the list for personal use, while online physician communities are driving professional use…Some 28% of physicians already use professional physician communities, with the highest enthusiasm around using them to learn from experts and peers.” Doctors, Patients and Social media
Like any addiction, social media carries a cost. Whether you’re a spectator listening in and contributing status updates from time to time or a key opinion leader providing evidence-based insights to a community of Parkinsons patients – there is no free lunch. As a matter of fact, the business model of social media is based on keeping you online as long as possible in order to maximize advertising revenue.
That might be good for Marc Zuckerberg but for you – costs are not a good thing. Let’s rephrase our question.
Asking the right question
How can we improve patient care, save time, increase patient retention and reduce costs?
The last mile of healthcare: patient-physican connection
There is a lot of innovation in the life sciences. The problem is that current structure of life science research drives innovation to improve quality, and not so much on improving costs of delivery in the last mile – the patient-physican connection.
Years ago, I worked at Intel Fab8 and I wonder today, why can’t we create doctor-patient relationships that are better, faster and cheaper? A system that works like the world of chips constantly reducing the form factor of the chip and the cost of manufacturing.
The answer is, that we can create a process for reducing the cost of doctor-patient interactions that is better and ultimately 10-100x cheaper than the current system of face-to-face visits in the office or over online video.
The biggest resource in healthcare is the patients themselves. We can use private social networks to enable patients to connect directly with their physicians and healthcare providers. By connecting directly with their physican in a private social network, doctors can provide guidance and patients can provide feedback using a simple, easy-to-use interface.
Today, with the institutionalization of medicine, patients come into clinics and are brought into hospitals for treatment and “stabilization”, unlike 100 years ago when much medicine was delivered in the home.
Bringing patients into the hospital creates bottlenecks and exacerbates problems; as a JAMA study blames a rising population, a falling number of emergency departments, and understaffing that prevents stabilized patients from being admitted to other parts of the hospital.E.R. crowding: are the uninsured to blame?
Using private social networks for healthcare is a smart and extremely cost effective solution to the rising demands on the healthcare system because of population growth and spiraling healthcare costs.
Private social networking for healthcare can help to make healthcare provision affordable and easier.
A doctor uses a private social network for healthcare with a process of 3 basic social networking functions: Connect, Follow and Share.
The process helps doctors save time in interviews because patients can record events and experiences before they come in to the office.
The process creates data is more accurate since patients can record critical events like falls and BP drops, in proximity to the event itself.
Better data makes physician decisions easier and faster.
Better data is good for health and easier and faster is good for business.
Driving down costs and increasing revenue
If one doctor and 100 patients use the process of private social networking for healthcare, then we’ve improved the health of 100 people and reduced the costs for 1 doctor.
What happens when 2 physicians use the process of private social networking for healthcare during a referal.
A private physician makes considerable revenue from referals (just like any other specialist). Imagine that on a referal, a physican uses the same process of connecting and sharing guidance and data with patients. Revenue goes up, costs go down. The system runs faster, since there is no friction from paper pushing while privacy boundaries are clearly defind on a consensual basis by the patients.
What a beautiful business model – compassion, care and great business!