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For the Health Of It™©, Volume 2 #7: Transparency, Fear, Honesty, Integrity and The Silo Syndrome

Are we suffering from “Functional Silo Syndrome”?  Are we each stuck in our individual silo and failing to accomplish our individual, family, community and corporate missions because of it?  (See  Why do I ask?  Last spring, I was honored to attend a “Patient Engagement Conference” meeting set up by Don McCormick for a “TED style” free flowing discussion of Health and Health Care.  The meeting was recorded, and recently, I had a chance to view and think about the conversations and wonder about them.  I also began to wonder why the public health community is stuck a Silo and the conservation community stuck in theirs.  Why are so many individuals, communities and businesses stuck in their very own “Functional Silo Syndrome?”

This is my take on the meeting and the take away message.  In that meeting room sat 25 people who clearly “Care About Health Care”.  How do I know that?  They not only gave up 2 – 3 days of their busy lives to attend the meeting, they flew to Vegas and sat in that room together for a whole day.  Why?  Why did they go there?  Why did they sit there?  Answer: They care about Health and Health Care.

So, hundreds of people hours were spent in this conference, which was attended by 25 men and women with hundreds of years of health and health care knowledge and understanding under their collective belts.  During that time, each of us had a few minutes to tell our Health and Health Care stories.  As I recently listened to and reflected on those stories and how each of us has struggled … each in our own way … in our own location … in our own lives … to Build Better Health and Health Care for ourselves, our families and our communities.  And, we gave our opinions … we talked about how we might be able to improve engagement of Patients in the process of Patient Care.  But, few of us spoke as Patients … or customers, to use a term which I prefer not to use.  Customer implies a passive role … buy the “Health Care” product and you magically get better.  We all know that is a farce.

So, we each gave our opinion as professionals … not as patients.  Most of us spoke from the point of view of gaining patients, or customers … not in terms of the needs of the patients, or customers.  The question underlying much of the conversation was, “How do I get more patients, or how do I build my business, or how do I make sure more people can get the solution that I have to offer?”  Yes, of course, I did the same thing … I was stuck in my silo.

One of the presenters gave us a way out … a way out of our closed thinking.  Ask The People who need the care!  He suggested anonymous surveys to determine desires, wishes, needs and constraints of the individuals and communities to be served.  Personally, as a public health guy, who has been doing this stuff for over 40 years,  I absolutely agree.  Surveys (now we have social media tools to help with this stuff too) give insights into the health of the individual and the community that must be taken into account, if we are to help solve those problems.  Engage the individuals and the communities in the process of designing and building the kind of health and health care solutions that will solve the problems they … individuals in their communities … need solved.

And, each of us is right about one thing … we each have a part of the puzzle … a part of the solution.  In that room, we had the power to solve all the World Health and Health Care problems.  We still have that power … it is not in the money, or the organizations that we represent, or the products that we sell … these are all accidents of space and time.  Rather, it is the power of Care, which derives from Love which comes from the People who care.  So, from my perspective, the take home message is this:  If we truly Care about Health Care and we want to Build Better Health Care, we will need to find ways to work together collectively and for the long haul.  I suggest work together to create a DMZ … a safe zone between the silos … a space where we can come down from the silos … a space where have the freedom to share problems and solutions … and to build solutions together.  

Call it what you like … a place to think, openly … without fear …

Let’s make that place where Patients<>Physicians and other Providers from anywhere in the world can think openly … to help solve their personal, family and community health and health care problems.  Defining problems and finding solutions for the long haul …

Let’s make that happen.  Join Veritas Health Care.  At VHC, it is our job to bring people together … to create the community that can help build the creative solutions we seek, if we are to Build Better Health and Health Care.

Ciao for now,

Dr. Mike




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