Policy-Compliant Healthcare Fail

Just like any roadway, the healthcare system needs signals that work. Too many signals and the system arrests. Too little and everything crashes. It’s important to build a system of healthcare that anyone can use safely. It doesn’t need to be complicated. It just needs to work. So why might our system have so many jams and fails?

After seeing this video that Seth Godin shared on his blog, I started thinking about what might be wrong with how we provide healthcare. So many rules have to be followed that I think we end up breaking them right onto each other. When you watch this video, consider how our healthcare system builds policy-compliant accidents:

If you have ever worked in a corporate environmnet, you completely get this video. Painfully, it’s dead-on with the fundamental problems of complex organizational behaviors. Governmental organizations often operate with as much derrangement.

So my question about Healthcare Fail is this: if corporations and governments operate healthcare the same way as the geniuses designing the stop sign in the video do, just who or what is the right choice? It’s easy to say “the free market works”, as the political Right claim, or “healthcare should be free for everyone”, as the Left claim. Honestly, I don’t think either of those claims make any sense these days. I wish one of those claims were true. It would make our problem easier to solve. Simple-mindedness is not simplicity.

As the costs of healthcare increase inversely with the quality provided, our public discussion focuses more on Universal Healthcare initiatives. Unfortunately, I think that our emphasis on cost has largely gotten us into trouble. It’s as if Werner Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is meliciously at work: the more we try to batten costs down, the higher they fly.

Rather than focusing on cost, we aught to focus on the value provided to patients and the community. Once the public understands what really goes into providing quality healthcare, then we might have a chance at a benefiting from a system that is neither the result of Capitalist Fail or Socialist Fail.

Our health is too important to hand over to corporations or governments. We need another kind of organization altogether, a totally novel way to provide quality care. I wish I had a name for it. For now let’s call it the Godinizaiton of Healthcare.

Godinize the Healthcare System

Part of the problem with the economics of healthcare is that we try to satisfy every conceivable end-point. It’s important that healthcare involves regulatory controls and well-conceived designs. If every intersection involves convoluted stop signs built to comply with everybody’s rules, we will have nothing but very reliable policy-compliant Healthcare Fail.

Policy-compliance is not a goal of healthcare: healthcare is the goal of healthcare.