Learning More About the Medical Home and Finding Innovation Where It Lives

If you are interested in innovation, I think this is a good podcast worth listening to – and the actual audio is more useful than the printed version.

I listened to it the day before I attended the latest Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative, in Washington, DC. At the meeting, I was fortunate to run into one of my role models, Susan Edgman-Levitan, PA, and we talked about the idea that the Medical Home is about improving the care of patients where they spend most of their time – where they live, work, and play. We can help patient-centered care flourish by including ideas from everyone involved in the care, including nurses, doctors, allied health practitioners, eye care, oral health care, behavioral health care, just to name a few.

I liked what Jack said in the podcast, that in a company, there has to be

a sense that in every soul of the company, the idea that everybody innovates.

Toward the end of the podcast, Jack gets quite fired up about the idea that innovation can’t be regulated to the chosen few. My experience reinforces this. In the area of health information technology, this is critical. When most people think about implementing HIT, they think about the implementation period. The most powerful part of HIT is what happens after implementation, and using a management system like the one developed by Toyota Motor Company (as we are) can allow an organization to turn HIT into an organization wide innovation engine – if they capture all of the ideas of everyone involved in providing care and put them to use. To not do so is to waste one of the most valuable raw materials for growth – ideas and time (and most importantly our patients’ time).

One other conversation that has come up in the last several days is about generational changes in approach. Many of the Generation X and Generation Y colleagues I have been talking with were raised in a professional environment where we were not going to have all the answers, and we are uncomfortable being accountable for them. We want to share the power of coming up with the answers with our provider colleagues and our patients. This is not to say that our baby boomer colleagues don’t have this desire, too. I think we are stimulating each other to do what they’ve always wanted to do, and involving patients, their families, and all practitioners, all specialties and roles, is really going to make a person’s medical home special.

Feel free to take a listen and let me know what you think:

Finding Innovation Where It Lives

Ted Eytan, MD