To quote Andy Stanley, a great speaker and just an overall wise person, “Pain without gain is a shame”. He was referring to our collective emergence from this truly life-altering period in time as a time for reflection. Crisis has a way of ruthlessly paring down that which is unnecessary. On a personal level, he urged us to look back at the last three months and identify what we’ve started doing financially, relationally, and personally over the last three months that we should’ve been doing all along. When scarcity was forced on us, what did we cut out that was never really necessary? What did we turn to as our source of strength?
These lessons have a direct application to the way we deliver health care. What did we start doing that we should have been doing all along? When faced with scarcity, what did we cut out that wasn’t truly necessary? I can think of a few examples in health care that fit that description. The emergence of virtual care as a legitimate way to deliver care that is more time efficient, less risky, and more convenient for patients. Transition to tele/videoconference patient handover sessions. Creating a way to ensure that patients’ goals of care are thoroughly and systematically explored so that their care plan is as congruent with their underlying values as possible. This crisis was a wakeup call that forced us to look in the mirror and address many of those things that were too uncomfortable or too inconvenient to address during “normal” times. As they say, don’t let a crisis go to waste; with a little bit of thoughtful work, you will be better for it.