People generally love numbers and lists. Well, here’s some real live data to boggle your mind. The numbers in US Healthcare are crazy talk. They’re staggering and seem unsustainable. Well maybe to someone who hasn’t spent a career in healthcare, but then maybe that’s what this industry needs? Some people to read this stuff and realize – this is crazy .. how can we make this better! Check this out (annual US data) –
That means there’s 405 million health “events” of some significance per year.
In the United states, there are basically 260 million adults (age 13+). So basically, that means on average there are 1.5 health “events” per year for every person. Of course, there are many ways this data is skewed – elderly people having multiple ongoing issues for example. But it still means that just about every person knows somebody going through some kind of significant health issue at all times. And by the way, this happens at all ages –
Again, these numbers are skewed somewhat by smaller variants. However, when you’re analyzing hundreds of millions of people annually, there is reality in here too.
Health care is by no means episodic, especially when you think in groups. Think about Groups as Families. Think about average family sizes – immediate families usually range 3-6 people. Now let’s add grandparents and close cousins, aunts and uncles. This group reaches 10+ pretty quickly.
When something significant happens, who do you go to first? Who are the closest, most trusted people in your life?
There are the closest of friends and there’s family. They are the most important people in your life, they can support and help you through whatever happens. If you let them help and/or invite them to help … But wait –
Another set of crazy statistics – Let’s look at just one form of recovery – Physical Therapy.
Approximately 70% of all scheduled PT appointments are at risk of not happening.
I’ve now interviewed dozens of doctors and health networks and health execs and read more sobering data than i can believe exists. As one doctor told me about this example. “Now take out PT and insert Taking Meds, Dialysis, Surgery (yes surgery), and any other form of care plan, and the same staggering statistics present themselves.” If left to themselves, patients won’t do it.
Who or What can change this?
Actually, one very simple answer has come up again and again. It’s not fluffy, there’s actual data supporting this equally crazy simple answer – The Family. The family unit is the most important non-medical driver to Outpatient health. When engaged and setup to help, all sorts of positives arise. They make sure care plans happen, they help get you there, they support emotionally, they help answer questions , and on and on, etc.
So why not just connect the family and the patient in a simple system to make sure they’re helping each other …. Wow, what a great idea. I wonder if something like that exists?