Bjork, Patients, And Respect


Bjork. Stop. I know what you are thinking: “How the heck is he going to tie Bjork, an Icelandic singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and occasional actress to healthcare?”

On my flight back from DC to Wisconsin I was reading the current issue of Fast Company.  In the issue they have a column called “creative conversation.” This months conversation was with Bjork. The title of the column is, “Bjork on keeping “Vulnicura” off Spotify: “It’s About Respect, You Know?” (Full article)

Two things leaped out of the pages at me.

1. When asked why her current album is not on Spotify her response was, “To work on something for two or three years and then just, Oh, here it is for free. It’s not about the money; it’s about respect, you know? Respect for the craft and the amount of work you put into it.”

2. When asked if the format of the physical record/album is going to change, or if she was tired of it, Bjork responded, “It depends what sort of story you want to tell. I think there’s a reason why [albums are] 45 minutes. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that movies are the length they are. It’s a certain storytelling-by-the-fire, cavemen, DNA instinct that feels really natural.”

And then it hit me…

Why are doctors appointments squeezed into this short 15-20 minute window of time? What kind of story can be developed, written, read, edited, reviewed, published, and discussed in 20 minutes?

The amount of time that healthcare allots for an appointment with a doctor is to maximize the number of people that can be seen by a doctor. It is tied to productivity, capacity, and financials.

Yet all I read about is the need for a better patient experience. I hear “experts” talking about how to improve patient accountability and patient engagement.

You want patients to engage, to adhere, to participate in their care? You want a better outcome for the patient, as well as your profitability?

Simple solution: Healthcare can begin to delegate what is the ‘best’ amount of time to be spent between a patient and a physician to the patient and the physician.

After all, patients respect the time and effort a physician has spent in becoming a physician. Patients could go to another physician, but choose to give their time and trust to you.

In return, administrators need to consider removing the production targets for physicians.

Allow the patient and the physician to decide how long they need in order to share the story.

I am willing to bet that if you spend the time and effort to develop, write, read, edit, review, publish, and discuss the story that engagement, adherence, and participation magically improve.

It’s simple: It’s all about the time it takes to share a story. Respect it.

As always, you can feel free to contact me at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM or follow me on twitter @cancergeek



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