The Future of Medicine
The future of medicine lies in the collaboration of the patient and a health team. Ideally, the health team would comprise of a physician who leads the case; a health coach, who is the main contact point; and the patient. In any successful team endeavor, all participants must have defined roles and be vested in the cause.
The leader of the team must be up to date on the inner workings of the medical system, and have a strong knowledge of current therapies. This involves a solid base in drugs, natural products, injections, lab test interpretations, and much more.
In today’s world, it is imperative that the physician be technologically current. Medicine is moving forward like many other industries, and technology is at the heart of this movement.
Most current physicians use electronic medical records, but only the most current ones will employ the myriad of other available technologies to make the client experience better.
Examples of advanced technological offerings include:
- Video teleconferencing (which is a saviour for busy patients),
- Personalized health records (to securely share reports and medication lists with the patients),
- Tracking the patient’s wearable technologies (health happens outside of the office visit)
- Offering modern testing that searches for areas to optimize, rather than just identify diseases
The Health Coach
The health coach is the heart and soul of the team. They are the person who spends the most time with the patient explaining and coaching them through difficult life changes.
It is very hard to make significant changes in nutrition and lifestyle habits. Research has shown that accountability and re-affirming of messages are necessary for most people to make a long-term change. It is much more effective for a system to implement a health coach for ongoing communication with the patient, as the physician’s time is so limited.
Many successful clinics are now employing health coaches, to play significant supportive, and change-management roles in the patients’ lives.
A hard look at our health care system shows that the patient and the physician are quite disconnected. The patient will often wait 2 hours to see a physician for 10 minutes. In a short period of time, the physician must get an update on the case, discuss new symptoms, and arrive at a treatment plan. This plan often leaves both the patient and physician yearning for more time to truly understand the case.
In a modern health delivery model, the patient has a means of communicating with the clinic via messaging the health coach, teleconferencing with a team member, or using a wearable data device which transmits data to the clinic. In this model, the patient has an ongoing connection point with the clinic, and does not need to waste time updating the case each time.
In essence, the connection between all team members must be strengthened if we wish to improve the delivery of health care to individual patients. This is not just a goal, but the reality of care offered at Balance Medical Center.