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Bright Ideas 2020: Make systems work for people

Bright Ideas 2020: Make systems work for people

Garrett Lee

Garrett Lee, co-founder and president of MACH OneHealth

Have you ever felt like your needs and interests got lost in the system? Haven’t we all?

Systems are messy and complex. They are all around — and within — us. Whether it’s the environment, economy, energy, housing, healthcare, education or justice systems — or even the cells, tissues, and organs within us — systems impact us.

If systems do not value the actors within them, they fail. People suffer when systems fail.

Despite spending the most money per capita on healthcare in the world, the life expectancy of the current generation of U.S. citizens is dropping. We pay more money for poorer health.

If we want to thrive in the face of 21st century challenges, we need to rethink, reimagine, and rebuild systems to improve people’s lives by adapting the systems to serve people whom the conventional systems have failed most.

Systems thrive when they adapt.

Luckily, healthcare is undergoing a subtle, but potentially major, revolution by shifting focus from healthcare delivery to a human-centered, social determinants of health model of care. This intersection of systems thinking and design thinking values people by prioritizing their holistic needs.

What if this revolution wasn’t just clinical? What if it included the whole community and listened to the unmet needs of people suffering most? What if people owned their health data and got paid for it to improve the system’s ability to make them thrive?

People thrive when systems thrive.

Let’s recreate our systems to adapt to our needs! Imagine what THAT might feel like!

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