Saturday, May 2, 2009

Fostering Increased User Participation in Healthcare

IDEO's Tim Brown thinks that "participation is key to the next big wave of innovation in business and society." In a post specifically about healthcare, he envisions EMRs (Electronic Medical Records) and HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) as two ways to enable greater participation in healthcare.

Fundamental to this collaboration is the creation of platforms that encourage participation. By this I don’t mean goading people into eating healthier food or taking more exercise. These may be beneficial outcomes of other more systemic innovations, but they are not, on their own, going to create the major shifts that we need.

Two platforms that are already under discussion and, in my opinion, offer huge potential for improved collaboration and participation, are e-medical records and health savings accounts (HSAs). With the risk of sounding like a health-care reform lobbyist, here is why I think they are important, but also why I think current ideas about these platforms run the risk of limiting their impact.

The Obama administration has already embraced EMRs, but HSAs have typically been championed by libertarians and conservatives. I agree with Tim Brown that HSAs help people become more engaged with their healthcare decisions, but I'm skeptical that HSAs will gain much traction in the foreseeable future.

Image from here.

No comments: