Blog | Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And you were worried about the NPs.

This morning at MGMA, I heard a health care technology expert from Intel speak, and aside from the revelation that Intel's been working on smartphones since before the rest of us knew what they were and still hasn't come up with anything, his most interesting point was on his vision of the future health care team.

He made the usual scary statements about the shortage of physicians and the growing elderly population, but unlike yesterday's speakers, he didn't see midlevels as the solution, since there might not be enough of them either. He suggested that regular people, with the assistance of technology, will have to take on the extra workload. Those care coordination teams that everyone's so fired up about should include not just clinicians, but patients, their families, and their neighbors. Yes, he said neighbors. (Which is a little worrying, given that I've recently learned that no Gen Xer ever bothers to meet her neighbors. And you probably thought I had finally written a whole blog post without bringing the generation gap up.) This idea of self-care came up in the hospital of the future article that I wrote recently, too, so I'm starting to see a theme here.