Say you take a new job and on the first day they present their company’s rules to you:
- No email can be used
- No Slack
- No team collaboration tools like Google docs
- No project management tools like Asana or Monday or Productboard.
- The only way to communicate with your new colleagues is via scheduled 10 minute one-on-one oral conversations either in a meeting room or via video or phone calls. These meetings are to be scheduled weeks apart. If either party takes notes of the interaction there is to be no mutual access to those notes afterwards.
- And finally, each time you call a meeting, there’s a 75% chance it’ll be with a person you’ve never met before.
This new company you just joined is called healthcare and you’re the new doctor being asked to solve a pneumonia, a newly diagnosed diabetes, a broken arm, a breast cancer scare, a moderate asthma, and a poison ivy that transitioned to a skin infection last week. And this is just in the last 3 hours.
Imagine trying to get anything accomplished well beyond anything dead stupid simple.
But say your new job is to solve a big hairy problem within the company. You solved big hairy problems in the past at other companies, which is why they hired you, and it took the better part of a year with the resources of a whole team collaborating online and in meetings and using a cloud-based project management tool to structure the entire project over the course of many months.
Health conditions should be viewed as projects to be managed over time by a collaborative team armed with today’s project management tools.
Think of these projects as the same kinds of projects you tackle at work. They take teamwork. They require frequent, easy, primarily online communication for tackling minor details and big, scheduled meetings to talk through and debate the big, consequential decisions. They need tools to document information accessible to all members, anywhere and anytime. Big projects take complex structuring so each member of the team can complete their individual tasks over time to keep the project marching toward completion.
No modern company would ever tackle problems like healthcare attempts to solve problems. It’s truly amazing healthcare even kind of works without the last 20 years of innovations that help us communicate and solve problems more strategically.
When you treat health issues like projects to be managed and build technology to support health issue project management, this unlocks a whole new way of delivering care:
- Patients become an integral player on the team. This creates a sense of community and fosters connections.
- A project can have a leader driving the project toward success.
- Information is accessible to all anytime, anywhere, from any device.
- All members of the team can easily communicate with one another when convenient for them.
- Teams can use the right communication tool for each kind of interaction— asynchronous modalities for frequent, lighter weight communications and, when necessary, in-person meetings for big formal conversations.
- Teams can share documents, data, photos, screenshots, etc to augment freeform communication.
- Issues can be managed by multi-disciplinary teams that pop in and out as needed to complete their tasks.
- Each moving part can be fulfilled by the specialized expertise found in each individual.
- Expertise can float in and out of a project as required.
- Team members can devote as much time as necessary to successfully complete the task.
- Tasks can be assigned to one another and their status tracked.
- Teams can keep track of every single moving part, tasks to be accomplished, who’s responsible and when, and the status of each.
- Decisions can be made over time, not forced to be decided during a time-constrained formal meeting.
- Tasks can be completed over time as the situation evolves and new information appears.
More to come on this. But the platform we’re building is Slack meets a lite-EMR meets a project management tool specifically designed for our unique care delivery model unlocked by activist employers who know healthcare needs a different business model to solve health problems in a rational, far more cost-effective way. They trust us because “we don’t fix healthcare, we just do it differently.”