A "viable healthcare system" can be basically assumed to be a system that is created and sustained by medical/ healthcare organizations which utilize ongoingly organized and active efforts to improve the existing system and techniques, as well as to discover and integrate innovative approaches. The organizations which are open minded to more improvement and innovation options have a better chance of sustaining themselves. A viable healthcare system is critical for the growing population of aging people resulting in the high and rising expense of healthcare, and shortages of nurses and physicians. In addition to training medical staff members in effective communication and teamwork, the techniques and strategies that contribute to viable healthcare system must include developing innovations utilizing technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), implementing refinements of traditional medications including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and incorporating effective aspects of holistic and preventative medicine.
Artificial Intelligence: Technology plays a huge role in our lives. The healthcare sector in the United States has started using electronic medication dispensers, electronic medical record systems, and workstations on wheels to prompt recording of patient's chart and assist in the prevention of human errors. However, the existing technology used today remains to be improved upon as in its current state, it may not be sufficient for the changing climate in healthcare. Particularly in America where we are in the midst of healthcare reform urging politicians to create a more affordable healthcare system. The increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is showing how it could transform healthcare and solve problems. The algorithmic feature used in "AI" application allows researchers and clinicians to program machines to perform the evidence-based clinical task with higher accuracy and consistency. The AI algorithm language embedded into the computer system allows doctors and nurses to continuously monitor the condition of hospitalized patients. New studies and new innovative products are showing how AI is transforming the healthcare industry. AI holds the potential to help maintain and monitor the quality of medical care. At the same time, thought needs to be devoted to how to best design and assess AI.
Implementation of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM): Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) originated from ancient China and has evolved over 2500 years. TCM consists of various practices, the popular one includes acupuncture, moxibustion, Chinese herbal medicine, tui na (Chinese therapeutic massage), dietary therapy, Chinese traditional exercises such as tai chi and qigong. TCM has undergone research testing and been found in numerous examples to have medicinal effectiveness to benefit health. TCM have gained popularity in the United States as more people who used it found relief from medical problems such as chronic pains, insomnia and anxiety disorders. Currently, there is not much research that studies the multi-dimensional aspects of TCM. Most research studies focused on the efficacy of a single
type of treatment, such as the use of acupuncture in combination with conventional western medicine.
Holistic medicine/ Preventative medicine: Holistic medicine recognizes that a human being's overall health is comprised of the mind, body, and spirit. These are all essential for the diagnosis and treatment of disease and the cultivation of wellness. Holistic medicine is concerned with the wellness of the whole person rather than the disease alone. Preventive medicine aims to promote absence of disease, either by preventing the occurrence of a disease or by halting a disease and averting resulting complications after its onset. The Western healthcare system sometimes treats patients based on symptoms and not the true root causes of their illnesses. The medical system in place often only emphasizes effectiveness in quickly treating acute problems occurring later in life after decades of poor living, rather than slowly over the lifespan of a human being.
People are starting to realize that food is medicine, as observed by the increasing popularity of vegan diet choices, and the Mediterranean diet. Eating the right kind of food could contribute to improved immunity thus combating diseases. Holistic and preventative medicine sees the overall person and determines what kind of lifestyle or diet changes that ought to be made for a better overall health. That prevention is better than cure is the philosophy of holistic and preventative medicine. As much as we know this to be important, our medical system does not serve to help people prevent illnesses. People need to consult a holistic medicine practitioner to understand what they are doing wrong in order to improve their health conditions. Committing to making healthy lifestyle choices, eating the right foods, and taking preventative measures to stay healthy may be invaluable to a patient. Thus, holistic and preventative medicine may contribute as an integral part of a viable healthcare system.
Staff training in effective communications and teamwork - Crisis management training utilizing role-playing and simulation education techniques can help train health care providers including nurses and physicians to communicate and work together in a multidisciplinary team together with the patient.
Summary: The vast investment placed on science and technology development to understand medical diagnosis and treatment of disease has increased emphasis on treatment of the physiological aspect of health. This system resulted in us neglecting the overall well-being and the mind-body connection. A new paradigm must be embraced in order to address the dilemma facing our healthcare delivery system. Our U.S. healthcare delivery system is overdue for remodeling. For a sustainable healthcare system, we need to develop an integrated healthcare system that is supported by scientific evidence and appropriately regulated by policies and guidelines.
Technology may robotize healthcare delivery to an extent. The use of AI should not replace the humanistic approach to healthcare delivery but serve to enhance efficiency and congruency and also to minimize human errors. Careful thought will need to be devoted to how to best design and assess AI.
Research studies on TCM are more complex as a parameter for considerations and are very different than modern Western medicine. However, TCM has shown positive efficacies with minimal to no side effects as compared to the bad side effects often seen in western medicines.
Audience Take Away:
- Audience members will be able to select from strategies and methods to innovate by brainstorming how we can leverage the use of technology such as AI to come up with smarter healthcare delivery ideas.
- Audience members will be able to implement from a selection of training strategies to improve communication and teamwork in the nurses and other healthcare providers as they talk to each other and the patient in order to work to improve the patient's health.
- Nurses and healthcare professionals in the audience can educate their patients on health care prevention measures and make smarter lifestyle choices. Healthcare providers can expand their repertoire of treatment options to including consideration of referring their patients who live with chronic illnesses to holistic medicine practitioners. We have learned that Western medicine treats symptoms but not always the root cause of problems. Besides taking medications, often patients would likely be better served by learning to change and improve their diet and lifestyle habits.
- This talk will expand the perspective of audience members and help them be mindful of and more ready to face the current challenges facing nurses inspired to help create a viable healthcare system.