Power drills, Cardiologists and collaborative consumption

This week I watched Rachel Botsman’s TEDxSydney talk: Collaborative Consumption. Rachel’s premise is that we’re “wired to share”, and I particularly liked her illustration at the 10 minute, 30 second mark…

ASSUMPTION #1: Most people own a power drill.

ASSUMPTION #2: Most power drills are used for a total of 12-13 minutes in their entire lifetime << seems not unreasonable.

NEED: We actually need a hole, not a drill!

CONCLUSION: Either rent a drill from someone else, or rent yours to everybody else.

WHAT IS THE END GOAL?: Share the resources better!

While visiting Brazil last year , I learned that in São Paulo if you get referred to a Cardiologist, you don’t get to choose which one, you just get sent to one. That doesn’t sit well with me, especially as a clinician, and I’m pretty careful to whom I entrust my care, or my family’s care.

Yet apparently the waiting time is down to trivial time frames. People are actually getting treated. That is significant!

Apparently resources are being used better, simply because of a central booking system and an algorithm matching clinician with patient and location.

When you start to add in some of the benefits from eHealth such as potential shared EHRs, this starts to make more sense. I will still struggle with the lack of choice, but if patients are being seen more efficiently… then maybe it is a good, or even better, thing.

Stop for a moment and consider:

If we want health reform…

If we want more efficient use of resources for our health $$$…

… then we need to think of how to better use Health IT to support the notion of collaborative health consumption – both of resources & information. How can we better match available resources with need? How can we enable consumer choice at the same time?

There’s a tension there – I can foresee many issues, but also opportunities.

I have more questions than answers.

Very interested in your opinion.