A Personal Message from Dr. Neuwirth:
Since the beginning of my career, my mission has been to humanize healthcare – to make it a more respectful, empathetic and seamless experience. I’ve had many roles – from primary care physician to medical educator, to medical director, to physician executive. Throughout the nearly three decades of my career, the system-wide story has largely remained the same: people want and need to be treated better.
The problems in healthcare delivery impact the quality, safety and outcomes of care in ways that are disturbing. The consumer experience lags years behind other industries. And the impact of healthcare costs, which continue to rise, are devastating to individuals, families, municipalities and our country’s economic sustainability.
Over the past few years I’ve arrived at three major realizations:
We will not solve the healthcare dilemma with our current orientation
There must be a complete shift in our orientation - a ‘Reframing’ of healthcare - not simply an incremental reengineering of the system, or adding data science and digital technologies to out-dated, misaligned ways of thinking about the problems to be solved.
We need a market-compatible transformative mindset
The mindset that every other industry has adopted is a customer-oriented consumer-centric mindset. In this transformative mindset, we must also account for the powerful influence and impact of the social determinants of health - on costs, outcomes, and the sustainability of our healthcare system. The new entrants into healthcare have this mindset, in spades. If we are to remain relevant, competitive, and viable, we also must adopt this mindset.
We need a reliable and replicable Roadmap
We need a comprehensive, effective, and scale-able roadmap to deliver us out of the dilemma. Single ‘silver bullet’ solutions such as payment reform, pricing transparency, process improvement, innovation techniques, or analytic and digital technologies alone will definitely not do it.
None of this is a criticism of the dedicated professionals and staff serving within healthcare delivery – trying to hold a flawed and severely limiting system together. From my perspective, reframing healthcare will be a lifeline for those that serve within the system as much as for those being served by the system.
My goal here is to create a systematic, sustainable, and scale-able path for how to create better healthcare, and better health. The stakes are high. Lives are at stake - those of our families, friends, fellow citizens, as well as our future generations.