Crashing against the hull, the ocean waves kept coming.
Even without the promise of relief, the ship’s inhabitants fought tirelessly. They’d come too far and cared too much to simply give up.
This is 2022.
Can I be candid?
Something I care about deeply is currently being threatened. Made up of heroes, the state of our healthcare system is on tumultuous seas.
Let’s unpack the reasons.
Why Our Healthcare System Is Failing
Stretched thin since early 2020, the U.S. healthcare system can be compared to a boxer. But a boxer taking shot after shot, purely operating on the defensive.
Is this a strategy for victory? The obvious answer is no.
Last year, the impact of Coronavirus reverberated through hospitals and clinics nationwide. We can’t shift all the blame to the virus though. There are other forces at play.
Disclaimer time. Any views within this piece are related to first-hand experience. They are not a critique of the many wonderful people wearing scrubs, lab coats, and business casual attire.
Glad that’s out of the way! Now I can be real.
Although you may not agree with my testimony, it is exactly that. A testament to conversations with family, friends, and healthcare connections on social media.
My goal here is to offer solutions, but first I must address how we got to this point.
- Mandatory vaccinations and boosters
As reported by social platform Gab.com:
Over the past year we’ve had tens of thousands of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals join Gab.
I connected with a number of these folks. And although their stories vary slightly, there are some common threads.
Their continued employment rested upon getting the vaccine…or not. Either voluntarily, or through coercing, they severed ties after years and even decades of care.
- Unrealistic data requests
At both the state and federal level, expectations around data reporting are very fluid. Already short staffed, healthcare leaders are scrambling to meet changing demands.
Test employees twice a week, report the data. Test hospital visitors, report the data.
If you’ve ever worked with data, you know it’s time-consuming. And how do you pull extra hours out of already overworked people?
These are just two of the major problems in the U.S. healthcare system. This doesn’t even touch on the patient perspective. Better save that for another day!
Okay, I’ve talked about how we got here. Next, I’ll look towards the future.
Is the Healthcare System Salvageable?
Do we abandon ship with our present healthcare system here in the United States, or weather the storm?
Some doctors have taken things into their own hands, and are planning to open private practice clinics. They will not put self interests or financial gain ahead of patient and staff safety.
Indwelt with a love for America, they are doing their best to follow the oath “Do No Harm.”
Patients are seeking more affordable options which protect their data and privacy. In the age of rampant identity theft, can you really blame them?
My research and discussions with health experts shed some light on possible solutions:
- Direct Primary Care
- Cost-sharing programs
- Concierge medicine
- Private practices
- Holistic medicine
Impediments to Progress
Hospitals and hospital-managed clinics rely on compensation from federal agencies. CMS and Medicare being the big ones. Resulting in a lot of red tape, real change is difficult to bring about.
When the federal government (expert at inefficiency) dips their hands into the “healthcare cookie jar,” it’s never ideal. Regardless where you stand on this issue, I think we can agree on one thing.
Immediacy is key to saving lives, and this is best handled at the local level. Imagine this scenario.
Your husband is having a heart attack. You rush him to the ER, but it’s federally run. Convoluted processes and a lack of quality medical resources tick away precious seconds.
Sound like a place you’d want to bring him in this situation?
And if you’re thinking I’m out to lunch on this one, I have 2 letters. VA. And no, I’m not talking about the state of Virginia.
I rest my case.
There’s still so much to unpack but I’m going to land the plane. Don’t worry, I’m very qualified.
Elijah Wordsmith and the U.S. Healthcare System
Despite all the adversity healthcare is facing, I’m encouraged by the boldness of those standing up. They aren’t just reacting and focusing on the here and now.
They’re looking towards future generations, and creating something new and improved. Call it healthcare 2.0.
May this infectious boldness find its way to you as you continue to serve the sick.
I mentioned solutions earlier, and would like to throw my hat in the ring as a possible one. But who am I to talk? Well…
Understanding your patient’s pain points through 10 years in healthcare. Understanding how to communicate your compassionate care through 3 years with Elijah Wordsmith content writing.
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