Recently we’ve been talking a lot about how healthcare is changing, and the trends are pointing to lower cost procedures in non-acute care facilities that are more convenient for patients. That kind of reformed system would mean less expensive healthcare across the board, with increased access to care for patients. But reform is the key word here. Getting there will take reinvention.
Like any industry, healthcare has had waves of innovation that have propelled it forward. We were a part of one of those reinventions, more than 50 years ago. In 1964, when Dr. Dotter used Cook products and the Seldinger technique to open vessels and restore blood flow, he changed medicine. What before required open surgery and long recovery in the hospital, became a minimally invasive procedure done through a needle hole. Minimally invasive medicine became the driving force behind healthcare innovation for the next several decades.
We’re facing a time when another reinvention is necessary. But this time, we need to reinvent the procedural environment. In order for patients to be treated at non-acute care facilities, physicians need to be equipped to perform procedures in different settings without sacrificing the quality of care. For us as a device supplier, that is going to mean designing technologies that are smaller, more portable, and require less equipment.
But we can’t do it alone. This time, reinvention is going to take cooperation. Suppliers, physicians, insurers, and health systems will have to be aligned, with patients at the center, to enable this outward migration.
Reinvention takes time. This won’t be done in a few months or few years. One of our challenges is the infrastructure – we’re already set up to treat patients in hospitals. Another is reimbursement and insurance, although we’re already seeing that model change, as patients become more prominent decision makers.
We’ve been a part of a healthcare reinvention before, and we’re ready to do it again. We’re already working on ways to support procedures outside of the hospital. Are you? Tell us how on Twitter @CookMedical or LinkedIn.
David Reed is currently Vice President of Operations, Vice President of Healthcare Business Solutions for Cook Medical Incorporated. With over 30 years of life science industry expertise Dave holds an MBA from California Miramar University and serves as a member of the Indiana University Kelly School of Business Supply Chain and Global Management Academy Advisory Board.