Two Steps behind medicine and Nine reasons why!
Life is a mission as merely about going from point A to point B and beyond. Humanity is continually in the brink of fruition. Equally, the societies formed based on human values have made signs of progress by the means of the chain reaction of successive revolutions. Short of growth, there is no quality to life. Time travels and life goes on. That is called progress. Whether good or bad, ugly or beautiful it must take its inevitable course and be the subject of discourse at any given period. Then there comes the subsequent generation to carry the torch. These all are to fulfill one rudimentary requisite of the living, the healthier life.
Human beings in general under circumstances have been able to upkeep a certain level of success in every aspect of his progress with the exception of healthcare.
But, what is medicine, healthcare or patient care?
Today it is not astounding to encounter the misconception in the midst of various sectors of a community about medicine and healthcare. Typically, a Healthcare delivered by independent efforts of physicians, and healthcare specialists implies to the maintenance and perfection of health via the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental condition in people. Medicine, in contrast, is the science and practice of establishing the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.
The word “Medicine” has been generically applied to the practice of medicine and patient care. Naturally, it is necessary to differentiate one from the other. Patient care and practice of medicine are general terms that can be applied to the means of conveying the tasks identified under the healthcare and medicine personalized to the individual specialty by taking into account all the dynamics within the immediate community. Indeed, we have made vast progress on all aspects of patient care and medical practice but not any are one and the same. Headway in medicine has been all-inclusive. Some example of such advances can relay to high-resolution medical imaging, Genomics, immunotherapy and so on.
Advances in medicine consecutively have set physicians with the better tools to perfect the art of medicine but in the meantime has transformed how they can pin down clinical diagnostic and therapeutic applications down to the individual scenario. But do the latter also relate to patients care and healthcare?
To further elaborate on this, we foremost need to independently break down the industry influencers of medicine, healthcare, and patient care.
First: Technology in Medicine
As mentioned earlier, technology has evolved facilitating healthcare providers and medical doctors to practice at to the top of their aptitude. Using technology they can identify cancer earlier, prevent it, and apply treatment with less collateral tissue damage. This has empowered the physicians via advances made in sciences including Genomics, immunotherapy, and precision. The business of medicine and logistics of financial transactions, billing has altered the practice of medicine for the better but not so for efficient.
Over the past decades, the healthcare revenue model has moved from fee for service to value-based reimbursement. Complex ICD-10 coding system, billing practice burden, and impracticable mandates have astounded the physician and patient care. In spite of the theoretical but constructive impact, the value-based model has faced striking condemnation from the medical community, making few to adopt the direct primary care revenue model.
Second: Business in Medicine
Healthcare reimbursement system reforms like managed care organization, accountable care organization, affordable care act, all have faced some form of resistance from the healthcare community hence conflicting with the delivery of the medical care in synchronization with the advances it has conquered.
Third: Politics in Healthcare
Healthcare today is the subject of a political dispute, which has captivated the topic of the day to day media coverage. Clearly, Politics has not conveyed the medical advances to be equally accessible to every constituency. In some cases, even quality of care has suffered the repercussion, like hospitals shutting down in rural areas and government-funded medical programs not being routed to the eligible members. It instead has served as the political slogan for those in quest of higher positions in the administration. In reality, Healthcare Politics has been served as the crack in the public piggy bank.
Fourth: Politics in Medicine
Politics of healthcare have merely affected the practice of medicine. Its implications on delivering optimal medical care and its system of top-down approach have placed a prodigious burden on the practice of medicine by deleteriously affecting the quality of care, clinical judgment and to end with patient satisfaction. In other words, the driver of quality is being greatly influenced by Petty politics. Regulations, administrative dictates, and bureaucracy evolve on the idea of more rules will translate to better care has proven wrong over and over. And that has led to overlooking of the fact that high-level government oversight to ensuring patient safety does not necessarily imply a clear need for micro-regulation, imposing the practice of cookie-cutter medicine while physicians have the science and technology within their arms reach.
Fifth: Technology in Healthcare
Healthcare has adapted itself to technological revolution too, such as moving from paper medical records to fully automated cloud-based electronic health record system. Despite the progress, current Medical community’s mixed feeling about health information technology is the clear reflection of substantial disparity in their experience with technological use-cases. The existing validation of most common Electronic Health Records (EHR) system is essentially performed through the business and billing branch of the medical practice hence lacking thorough undertaking tenacity of the actual patient care and clinical decision-making Tasks. This trend is somewhat due to the outcome of medical community extrication and failure to claim their sphere within such technology. An unclaimed space that has developed in the past decades but matured speedier than medicine correspondingly could evolve.
Sixth: Business in Healthcare
Healthcare is a market encompassing Billions of dollars of unclaimed proceeds. It is tantalizing for non-medical industries to reach for the slice of the pie. Monopoly has become the weapon of choice for most corporate entities across the major businesses, more so for Big data, Artificial intelligence, and Data mining. Said corporations thrive on individual’s private information, in this case, free right of entry to medical data space. Data is money, so resembles the “Gold Rush” for industries with non-medical business models to penetrate, create and expand the healthcare sub-markets.
Seventh: Technology in Patient Care
Technologies like Telehealth, Wearable devices, high definition microsensors, augmented reality and Micro-services are available to us by providing great tools for patient monitoring, treatment, and maintenance of the quality care. Yet, their optimal utility has been stalled down and reckoned inappropriate for their envisioned utility. All is said and done, when it comes to executing new technology, the healthcare industry lags behind its peers. It is a well-known fact that the health industry appears to resist change, even when those changes stand to help patients.
Eighths: Business in Patient Care
The business of healthcare has inevitably translated into policies, unethical practices that consistently focused on the lean business practices of medical service rather than the actual patient care. Entities in one way or the other have conveyed technologies ready to lend a hand, but in utmost cases lack the HIPAA and or FDA clearance. Solely, for the reason that getting government clearance put away a major amount of time and resources plus that the incentives are much higher by introducing its utility in the non-medical marketplace.
Ninth: Politics in Patient Care
We as constituents, patients; physicians, providers, politicians, administrators, and entrepreneurs experience the adversity of politics and the reality that partisan solutions are not helping the patient care. Indeed, we have been involuntarily dragged into the trap of political rhetoric. The attention from healthcare as a personal and societal issue has been turned into the politics of the populist ideology; that healthcare is a right or single payer is the way to offer care for our citizens. Politics is a distraction to medical care. Realistically, it doesn’t matter who pays for patient care as long as it can support the true value of the care delivered.
The Big Picture
The intersection of medicine, healthcare, and patient care must be simple and well-defined but in contrary it has become complex, politically motivated, driven by corporate monopoly dogged to disrupt the first principles of a true healthcare delivery system. The Conflict of interest is fueled by the business centered healthcare vs patient-centered medical care. Popular group paint profiting, the business of medicine and downslope trend of healthcare as unethical and grounds for major constitutional reform. In fact, failure to offer healthcare has by large nothing to do with the business but what is to blame is the corruption within the healthcare system itself as a whole.
Healthcare is lagging behind Medical Science: looking through the perspective
Patient care is suffering the consequences of poor policies, take-over of clinical judgment by political, business and technological judgment from neighboring domains. Outdated healthcare delivery model does not meet today’s medical needs. We have the most advanced technologies to treat disease but lacking the logistics to deliver that efficiently to our patient’s doorstep.