Taken from the Harvard Business Review…*
Innovation has flourished in the U.S. in the development of new pills, clinical procedures, devices, and medical equipment, but in the field of health care delivery, it appears to have been frozen in time. In too much of the U.S., system, health care is viewed as a craft and each patient as unique. But by applying principles of mass production and lean production to health care delivery, Indian doctors and hospitals may have discovered the best way to cut costs while still delivering high quality in health care.
I find this to be an interesting topic for a couple of reasons. One – It seams that health care delivery is still in the dark ages and Two – Healthcare is a hot topic.
Recently, I went in for an MRI.
The process that I experienced included:
1) My primary Doctor sent me to a Neurologist and my Neurologist sent me to an MRI facility. My primary Doctor has all of my medical history and payment information that I provided by filling out a paper document that was typed in by one of his employees.
2) When I arrived at the Neurologist, I had to fill out all of the same kind of paperwork and provide payment information. One of their employees typed this information into the system.
3) When I arrived at the MRI facility, I had to fill out all of the same kind of paperwork and provide payment information. One of their employees typed this information into the system.
4) The results of the MRI were sent to my Neurologist. I had an appointment so that the Neurologist could explain it to me in plain English.
Part of the cause of this inefficiency is bureaucracy – both government and insurance.
Privacy concerns have prevented the electronic passing of medical history from one doctor to another. If privacy wasn’t the issue, sharing medical history from one software package to another would still be a hindrance.
Insurance companies have rules for billing that dictates what they can bill for in a single visit and what they cannot. A bureaucracy dictates the price a doctor can charge for an activity and often, what activities they should perform.
India has taken a different approach – a process approach. They are applying principles of mass production and lean production to health care delivery. My guess is that this would be much better than a bureaucratic approach.
What do you think?