Friday, August 3, 2012

Health in Hawai‘i

Since my two years in Health Information Exchange (HIE) I have been extremely blessed by the many opportunities I have been given exposure to each day. I have meet extremely, embracing, intelligent and caring people all focused on doing public good. What really strikes me is how extremely complicated organized health care is and how we as individuals deal with the many intricacies.
When I was growing up I used to watch Marcus Welby, M.D. (for you young whipper-snappers, google it) with my beloved grandmother and was sooo amazed at his demeanor and bedside manner. When I was a little older, I watched shows like M*A*S*H and St. Elsewhere and I was amazed at all the relationships that went on. Honestly, I was looking for the gore and realism in those shows; as well as the entertaining comic relief but was introduced to the politics revolving around the relationships. By the end of the hour everything wrapped up nicely and I stayed tuned for next week’s episode, fully satisfied by the loss of brain activity that was zapped by the TV set.
Now that I am up to by eye-balls, drowning in analytics, reporting, and developing programs, I am amazed at how physicians get through their day. They are the true champions that crawl through the muck of payment reimbursements, Medicaid regulations, malpractice risk, and just regular business operations – oh and by the way, have to take care of all of us sick people. I admire their dedication to their profession and sacrifice their own health, time with their families, and embracing the unrelenting change that is supposed to “help” them. Well, I’m sorry to say that I’m a part of that change.
But change is inevitable. It is how we plan the change and solicit input to the ideas that craft it. We also have to provide our creative assessment and innovative ideas that, not solve, but deal with problems. I say deal because for big problems you never will solve them, and for little problems, if you think you solved them – there is always another problem related to it; usually much bigger. But the fact of the matter is that you have to change and if we all work together and share ideas, then change becomes understandable, embraceable, and sellable.
These are not new problems “History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. 10 Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new.”* It’s just the way we handle ourselves and how we relate to each other. If we go into a meeting with a heavy burden on our shoulders of a monumental task that seems impossible to resolve, then our minds are already set that it won’t be resolved. We focus on picking on the faults and barriers of the gargantuan (Kill Bill reference) problem and wallow in our misery. Rather, let’s focus on the small tasks that can be resolved, keeping in mind that it may bring revelation to how to deal with the next bigger problem, which no doubt will come.
In the end, when it is all said and done, it’s the impressions that we leave our children that will help them deal with the continuing problems that, unfortunately we with all of our character flaws, all will never solve.  But we can come close!!

* Ecclesiastes 1 New Living Translation (NLT)


  1. Thought provoking and so true.

  2. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.