Furniss argues that the traditional approach to healthcare is unsustainable, both financially and socially. The focus on treating illness, rather than promoting wellness, leads to a system that is reactive rather than proactive. This results in higher costs and poorer outcomes, as patients are often only seen when their condition has already progressed to a more advanced stage. In contrast, a focus on prevention and wellness would result in a system that is more proactive, with earlier intervention and better outcomes. Furniss also argues that the fee-for-service model is a major driver of healthcare costs. In this model, providers are paid based on the number of procedures they perform, regardless of whether those procedures are necessary or effective. This leads to overuse and misuse of healthcare resources, resulting in higher costs and lower quality of care. A value-based model, in contrast, rewards providers for delivering better outcomes at lower costs. This incentivizes providers to focus on prevention and wellness while utilizing evidence-based practices that have been shown to be effective.
The HIMSS definition of rethinking healthcare, on the other hand, is more focused on the use of technology to improve efficiency and quality of care. While technology can certainly play a role in rethinking healthcare, it is not the only or even the most, important factor. Focusing solely on technology can actually distract from the broader issues facing the healthcare system. Technology is only one part of the solution, and it should be used in conjunction with other approaches, such as prevention and wellness initiatives, value-based care, and patient-centered approaches. Technology can help providers to deliver care more efficiently and to access patient information more easily, but it cannot replace the need for a more comprehensive approach to healthcare reform.
Furniss’ definition of Rethinking Healthcare offers a more comprehensive and holistic approach to healthcare reform. By focusing on prevention and wellness, and by incentivizing value-based care, we can create a healthcare system that is more sustainable, more effective, and more patient-centered. While technology can certainly play a role in this process, it should be seen as only one part of a broader strategy for overall change.
Both Furniss and HIMSS offer valuable perspectives on healthcare reform, but Furniss provides a more comprehensive and nuanced approach to the issue. By focusing on prevention and wellness, leveraging the power of technology, and incentivizing providers to provide value-based care, we can create a healthcare system that is more sustainable and effective at improving the efficiency and quality of care provided within the United States. To truly rethink healthcare, we must move beyond the traditional focus of problem, reaction, and solution, and embrace a more proactive and patient-centered approach.