Marty Minniti, RN, is product development chief, Care PartnersPlus-Wellby. Wellby is a new interactive healthcare management solution for use in physician offices, hospitals, work sites and retail pharmacies to collect and exchange feedback from patients at the point of care. Wellby uses IBM kiosks, the same familiar technology found in airports, hotels and self-service kiosks in retail environments.
Recently on a trip from Boston to Philadelphia, I read an article in The New Yorker on brain storming and group thinking. What caught my interest was the description of the work of two social scientists who studied more than 474 Broadway productions looking for what made both an ideal team and a financially successful Broadway hit.
As a nurse, I related the information to improving our healthcare system — understanding that it is a work in progress. Many people are trying to reduce healthcare costs. All kinds of money is going into the system, and there are also new rewards and penalties for meeting certain standards of care and prevention, such as helping better manage the behaviors that can lead to chronic illness.
Healthcare isn’t a Broadway show, but physician performance and the ability to consistently deliver high quality care does require practice. However, it also requires some audience participation. A number of experts have been pretty blunt about the inability to improve healthcare outcomes without patients and their families complying with certain requirements for better health.
If patients and providers had an easy way to provide real-world, real-time feedback, could this impact health transformation in a meaningful way? Would patients tell us why they don’t take their medicine consistently, or lose weight, or stop smoking or have an annual exam? Would they tell us which medications work or don’t work?
Critical feedback from patients and their families might be the exact input healthcare providers need to find ways that work for their patients so they don’t have to live with care instructions that may not fit their lifestyle or pocketbook or belief system. Patients themselves are the only ones who can shed light on what works and what will help others. The new opportunity for healthcare providers is to capture patient input constructively every time a patient goes to an office visit, or even to get feedback between visits. The ability to get this feedback from all practices, healthcare providers, and patients could help us find new ways to improve our healthcare system.
So what makes a Broadway hit? The author noted that dedicated teams who collaborate well, have a certain degree of structure and past success, and have the influence of newcomers with new ideas are what made the shows really sing. Bringing the voice of the patient to the team of caregivers and really listening to them could be a great way to deliver better healthcare outcomes for everyone.