Healing Healthcare In America – It’s About Healing Connections

Dr. Carl Hammerschlag Speaks Out… These are times of uncertainty and anxiety in healthcare delivery in America. The botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act has been a problem, but like it or not some form of it is here to stay. The ACA has provided the impetus for a cultural shift in healthcare delivery from an economically unaffordable interventional model (ERs, tests, and procedures) to one that focuses on prediction and prevention.

I applaud this paradigm shift; never in the history of medicine have great advances against disease come from providing more doctors, doing more procedures, and prescribing more drugs. It has always been about prevention, discovering the underlying cause and then eliminating it at its source; like vaccines, or hand washing before delivering babies.

We are spending more than 15% of the GDP on interventional medicine and we are not even among the top twenty healthiest countries in the world. We are in the midst of a cultural shift from acute care in hospitals, to preventative care in communities.  85% of healthcare costs is for the treatment of chronic diseases and aging populations. We’re not doing a good job in treating that vulnerable population other than hospitalizing them.

Healing healthcare in America is successful when we find better ways to treat people at home, and make healing connections for them with lots of community caregivers; not only doctors, nurses, social workers, and physical therapists, but also encouraging referrals to self-help groups (from addictions to burn survivors, or the abused), and to other untapped healing resources like artists, body workers, energy workers, dancers, yogis, shaman, and spiritual guides. These are all potential healing connections with caregivers who can inspire patients to actively participate in their own healing journey. We can heal people even if we can’t cure them; healing is about making heartfelt connections between those who provide care and those who receive it. Healing is… knowing you are not alone; trusting that someone/thing hears and cares for you;  being with others who help you find peace with your truth.

These are surely challenging times, but they are also exciting times. We have the focus and the technology to integrate those community healing resources. Those organizations that create such a social network of caregivers will thrive because it provides better healthcare, and it will save money.

CARL HAMMERSCHLAG, MD is a master storyteller who illustrates that the future of healthcare rests in the ability of community to provide for prevention of disease. He is an expert in healing, leadership, authenticity & surviving in rapidly changing times. Invite Dr. Hammerschlag to present one of his keynotes for your next event!