Here we go again…
There is a story in the news, this time from Australia, about charging patients who “shouldn’t be in the emergency department”. Here’s someone tweeting about it:
The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
…state-run hospitals will be given the power to impose a fee of about $7 to stem a potential rush of patients from GP clinics to free public hospital emergency rooms.
Interesting little article from Forbes Magazine about venture capitalists looking for opportunities in healthcare. As the article points out, in the US, healthcare is 17% of GDP – there’s money to be made in any tech disruption that catches on in clinical practice.
The disruption is more likely to come from the outside-in though, isn’t it? Healthcare institutions are slow to move and change. If venture capitalists and others are trying to find weak points in the healthcare system which are ripe for exploration, investment, innovation and ultimately success, why not focus on patients? By that, I mean the patients should be the carriers/distributors/end users of the disruption. There are more patients than clinicians and patients are individuals while clinicians are invariably part of an institution. If this disruption is delivered to patients, and it delivers a useful change for the patient in how they receive healthcare, well then it should hit a critical mass and it will have to become a utility for clinicians and healthcare institutions.
But what will that disruption be? I’m still trying to figure that out…