With football season right around the corner, I see parallels between the worlds of healthcare delivery and professional football.
During COVID-19, we all became acutely aware of the strengths—and the limitations—of our healthcare system. In the United States, phenomenal hospitals, expert clinicians, and advanced technology are widely available. But who is leading your care team? Are you set up to receive the best possible healthcare for your unique situation?
It’s no coincidence that the past 5 football teams to win the NFL Super Bowl (Kansas City, New England, Philadelphia, Denver, and Seattle) all have outstanding quarterbacks. Of course, talented receivers, defensive specialists, and kickers are all working hard on the field, but the quarterback calls the plays, implements the team’s strategy, and leads the team to victory. The quarterback has the expertise to assess the situation, capitalize on the team’s strengths, and determine how the team will achieve its goals.
For the team to be successful, they must also have effective communication and collaboration.
The healthcare system is constantly improving, including the shift from general care into specialties that provide patients with more precise treatments. But increased specialization can create more silos in our already fragmented healthcare delivery system. A collection of experts (no matter how good in their individual specialties) isn’t enough, because no one is looking at the whole picture when it comes to your care.
Take Cathy, for example. She has cancer and lives in Ohio, where her oncologist has carefully followed her cancer treatment and is doing a wonderful job managing the cancer. But the oncologist, focused on life and death matters of cancer, isn’t looking at Cathy’s overall health. An oncologist doesn’t focus on lifestyle issues, such as nutrition, mild pain, mild side effects, and more. Yet, a focus on these factors would allow Cathy to receive more holistic treatment and better care.
Who is calling the plays for your health and wellness?
At Better Health Advisors, my team and I firmly believe that everyone needs a healthcare quarterback. Whether someone is dealing with a chronic health condition, managing a new diagnosis, or working to maintain their good health, a health advisor improves care coordination by making strategic decisions and solving problems.
For example, a family member or trusted friend who understands the healthcare system and has holistic knowledge of your care, providers, and insurance, can provide valuable insights. Health advisors can also play this role by speaking with specialists at different organizations to remove gaps in your care. If you’re looking for a healthcare quarterback, I hope you’ll keep BHA in mind.