Thanks to Tim Brown for posting the link to this fantastic video from the Cleveland Clinic.
Please give it 4 minutes of your time.
In his post, Tim asks readers to consider how this would work as a design brief for someone designing a hospital or healthcare system. I cannot help think that the relevance and value of the video goes much deeper. Particularly in the UK.
Amidst budget crises, reorganisations of Hospital Trusts and the creation of new markets, the whole point of what the NHS does and who it is ultimately there to serve seems to be lost.
You, me, our families are increasingly relegated to the status of statistics. We seem to be incidental to the redesign of the NHS.
Our voices rarely listened to as hospitals are closed, services transferred and the magical ‘market’ is introduced.
Our only involvement in this whole process appears to be to cause inefficiency by our recurring problems of becoming ill and getting old. Perhaps if only we were not such a burden, the NHS could reach that politicians nirvana of ‘being efficient’. I cannot help think that achieving this in healthcare is akin to having ‘quiet’ in a primary school – something that is possible, but not something that we actually want.
What this video does so well is remind us what healthcare is about.
It reminds us what hospitals are for and why they matter.
It reminds us that however bad our day has been, it is unlikely to compare to that of a doctor giving his patient a diagnosis that will see his life change forever in those following few minutes.
One that makes the word ‘pension’ redundant.
One that measures lifetimes in weeks.
It reminds us that we are not that patient. At least not today.
Most importantly the video reminds us that healthcare is about people.
Not markets. Not targets. Not performance measures. All these are there and important, but they are there to support the core business – they are not the business.
Perhaps those who want to challenge the latest hatchet-wielding ladder-climbing Junior Health Minister giving a trite soundbite on News at 10 to justify cuts to our NHS should take a lesson from the Cleveland Clinic and focus on what really matters. Instead of duelling with statistics, we should go back to what matters. People. Not in an abstract way. Not in a markets/targets/performance way, but in a human way.
Perhaps pressure groups should engage not with flyers, but with YouTube links.
Perhaps we should forget reasoned and rational debate and instead go for emotion.
BOLDLY put emotion first.
Why? Because emotion is the most powerful human instinct. If you don’t make a connection with emotion, nothing else matters. The statistics and reasoned arguments can follow, but start with the emotion.
Why? Because emotion, empathy, caring, love is the very essence of what being human is about.
Cleveland Clinic know this works.
Learn from them.