HealthConnect, the final XConnect panel event of the year was held at the ING Direct Cafe October 25th, 2012.
Over the course of the panel discussion, a number of different challenges being faced by the healthcare system were brought up. It would have been far too easy to end on a discouraging note, but Cassie McDaniel, the moderator of the panel discussion, took things in a hopeful direction with her final question to the panel:
“What can we walk away from this room today and make this system better?”
Abigail Keeso reminded us all that social media is only a piece of the puzzle. Some people don’t have computers or smartphones, so while we can use new technologies, we still need to make use of other options to not exclude people.
Nikolai Bratkovski told us to keep challenging the status quo, get into the grey zones and don’t be scared. Sooner or later we’ll make a difference and people will start paying attention and then change will come.
Dr. Karim Jessa said that the key to making the system better is all of us taking greater personal responsibility for our own care.
Hadi Salah said that the disconnect in communications between different levels of the healthcare system is the biggest challenge. We need to improve communications between patients, nurses, doctors, and all other parts of the healthcare system.
Farid Kassam said that the system is taxed right now, with 46% of the provincial budget going to healthcare. Doctor’s should be paid to keep people healthy rather than healing people when they’re sick. Consumers need to be made better aware of how to stay healthy in advance and be better aware of their risks.
As moderator of the event Cassie wrote the questions she asked the panel, but we never got the opportunity to hear her thoughts. So, as part of the summary for HealthConnect I asked her a few questions about her thoughts on the discussion.
1. What’s one thing you learned at HealthConnect that you hadn’t known before?
I envisioned Abigail (RN) and Karim (MD) would share a care provider perspective and stick together on many issues. I didn’t know that a nurse and a doctor would have such different point of views, especially in terms of taking risk in the hospital setting. It seemed nurses have to battle somewhat of a double standard when it comes to patient privacy.
2. As the moderator, you had to plan out the discussion questions in advance. Did the reactions to any of the questions surprise you? Was there anything you would have wanted to explore further if you weren’t limited by time constraints?
Well, I hail from the States where the question of whether or not government should be involved in personal issues is an incredibly divisive topic. For example my mother, a Democrat, will not speak to my grandmother, a Republican, during months leading up to the election!
I expected there to be more dissension around the role of government in healthcare entrepreneurship. However, it seemed everyone was in agreement that innovation would have to happen independently of the government’s involvement.
As for what I would have liked more of, privacy is a thorny issue (especially when the crowd experts get involved!). In a crowd, we have a tendency to think that making our voices heard means making everyone well-aware of our complaints, but I think we need more solutions so I attempted to steer speakers toward action-oriented discussion. But I would have liked to debate more the underlying notion of private health data and the fear that accompanies sharing this data. To me, sharing to make the whole system better seems like a given, but I still do not understand all facets of the issue.
3. What’s our best strategy to move forward from here? What’s the one thing you would say about the future of technology and social media in healthcare?
I believe Patients Like Me represents a movement, and I want to know where people see that going. I like how they’ve taken a really private issue – personal illness – and encouraged people to not only share their experiences with this illness, but actual data as well. This is huge. I see the individual as having an enormous bearing on the future of healthcare, and certainly healthcare’s relationship to social media. It seems that making such a large part of our social structure shift directions means that we need to work together to make that happen. Technologists and social media lovers have a history of accomplishing big things together, so that’s where I think the future is at.
As with other XConnect events, there will be a follow up report with a Summary of the series, interesting key insights shared from the disrupters and industry professionals that we connected with over the series, and recommendations from thirdocean!
Thanks to all of the fantastic sponsors who helped HealthConnect happen!
Be sure to connect with XConnect to receive the HealthConnect report and news about future events: