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Healthcare Inefficiency Through the Eyes of a Teenager

I have a teenage son and he knows what I do. Seriously, we
talk enterprise healthcare analytics, healthcare policy, Obamacare, and even payer
mix analysis.

He’s paid attention to my career, which is a good thing. It’s provided for his lifestyle. But he has the
patience of a two-year old when the annual school physical arrives.

I enjoy the Pediatrics & Adolescent Clinic that looks
after him for more than eight years. It’s a PCMH level 3 facility with Saturday
hours and a walk-in clinic with Monday –Friday 7a-7p hours. My son doesn’t
enjoy it. He doesn’t suffer the wait well. At last year’s visit, as we
sequenced through the gates, checked in, waited, gave vitals, waited, had a
conversation with the nurse, waited, then saw the physician.

My son looked at me in the exam room --complete with Nemo
and Ariel on the walls -- and said, “You can fix this!”

“Whoa!” I explained to him how great this clinic is and how it
treats the whole child during the appointment.

The clinic’s staff really
works to maximize the visit and not make the patient and his/her family return
a separate day for the vaccine, or come back a third time for a medical check-up. It’s really progressive – and this
is Texas - we still are a fee for service market. But this clinic is focused on
creating wellness and ensuring the patient’s needs are met. Far too often,
patients leave with follow up instructions only to disappear because of
unforeseen scheduling issues or a patient/parent decision to be non-compliant.

Again, that’s why this is a great clinic. Its staff really
cares for the patient. But that fell on my son’s deaf, teenage ears still
trying to figure out why he needs to sit next to Nemo. Again, he said “You can
fix this. You have the systems that know how many things I need to have done. So
why only book a 10 or 15 minute visit”

(Yes, we have talked about the CMS reimbursement model for
office visits). And, yes, he is right. We have the systems to “queue” open
items and the PCMH’s that work to maximize the visit. But unfortunately our
reimbursement model forces an arbitrary schedule; and all too often providers
defer secondary complaints to the “next visit” so they can stay on schedule.

As the ACO @ risk
model gains momentum coast to coast, I am hopeful that future analytic
discussions will move beyond volumes and counts of descriptive analytics, as
well as advance to queue patient visits and algorithmically organize
appointments. Join me in this discussion #AcceleratingtheEvolutionofHumanCare

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