Healthspitals in the Community
Each Healthspital would appreciate the norms, mores, and expectations of the community it serves on issues such as end-of-life ministrations and specific needs and gaps in current care. Dialogue could begin in earnest regarding hospice services. Part of the Healthspital’s mission could be to celebrate each patient as a life well lived, honoring individual care preferences during life-and-death decision making. Throughout the community, such openness would reenergize relationships between younger and older generations and promote mutual caring, which would contribute to the curing function across the health-care continuum.
The Healthspitals’ integrated delivery ecosystem at the community level would allow a much truer triage at emergency departments. As these are often the places of first resort for patients with all levels of care needs, a system-wide approach to triage would help refer all patients to the appropriate (and often less expensive) level of care. This would reconfigure the issue of “dumping” and allow tracking of referral patterns to provide a feedback mechanism for improving triage – true sorting – throughout the ecosystem.
A Healthspital 5.0+ approach could proactively intervene against negative health modulators such as smoking, impaired driving, and other reckless behaviors and would promote modifications.
Healthspitals would also assess and promote healthy lifestyles, such as appropriate nutrition and exercise regimens. Using personal monitoring devices for walks would allow people to compile and monitor their health via a database, which would be accessible to their physicians as well as to researchers tracking public-health trends.
Healthspital 5.0+ would, by virtue of eliminating redundancy and improving health, allow huge savings from current health-care expenditures. These savings must be pro – actively and purposefully reinvested into promoting more healthful programs such as building walking trails, biking areas, parks, and local organic farms. Public health and wellness would thus become self-sustaining, self organizing, and autopoietic.
Once Healthspitals are fully functional and globally deployed, true reform of medical malpractice would be possible, as errors would decline and overall health of the community would be improved. Also, the integration would allow risk sharing across the system, which would require understanding the rights and responsibilities of all stakeholders, from patients to the Healthspital personnel, all of whom are truly invested in providing and maintaining the health of the entire community—the health ecosystem.