A New Way of Working: How Clinicians + Technology Will Solve Our Healthcare Crisis

As a child I was chronically sick, interacting with the healthcare system early and often. Growing up in a rural Texas town, my access to specialized care was limited — so it wasn’t until my symptoms exacerbated over 15 years that I finally discovered I had an autoimmune disease.

Sadly, I’m not alone in my all-too-long journey to diagnosis and help. Whether in a rural town with limited provider options, an underserved community without quality clinics, or a bustling metropolis with shockingly few available doctor’s appointments, too many people cannot access the care they need, when they need it.

That’s where Digital Health comes in. It’s the promise of technology plus human ingenuity — and it has the power to revolutionize the way we access care. By leveraging tech-enabled capabilities, plus access to Big Data, we can finally connect the right patient with the right insights, via the right healthcare provider, at the right time — improving patient experiences and outcomes.

But Digital Health cannot succeed without quality clinicians and the technology infrastructure to support their work. So I’ve made it my personal mission to solve that problem — enabling virtual care services to effectively, efficiently and safely expand access to quality healthcare in our country.

It all starts with clinicians.

Despite the emphasis on “digital,” the success of this movement rests on the people delivering care: knowledgeable, passionate, caring doctors and nurses. Yet because the system treats clinicians as commodities — when they are actually highly skilled, empathetic professionals — they are burning out and opting out at alarming rates, citing growing administrative burdens, distracting bureaucracy, and increasing employment restrictions. According to the Medscape National Physician Burnout & Suicide Report 2020, nearly half of U.S. physicians reported feeling exhaustion, cynicism, feelings of detachment, and lack of a sense of personal accomplishment.

To make matters worse, we continue to restrict clinicians to working within a single organization, which further limits patient access, exacerbates our massive clinician shortage, and reinforces the existing healthcare deserts for many patients. To truly innovate healthcare and springboard digital health adoption, it’s time to elevate the way clinicians practice. We can no longer continue to replicate the same broken system by simply bringing the traditional model online.

That’s what we have set out to do at the company I co-founded, Wheel — to change the way healthcare works by putting clinicians first. We’re bringing them to the forefront of healthcare so that we can transform the industry together; giving them the tools and Webside Manner™ training necessary to become experts in virtual care, and building from scratch the tech-enabled platform they need to seamlessly, safely and compliantly reach patients across multiple virtual care services. Above all, we’re enabling clinicians to work in a whole new way, providing advocacy, and providing more opportunity for freedom and flexibility in their lives.

I believe that happier clinicians make healthier patients. And, I believe in the thrilling potential for digital health and virtual care to help us reimagine the entire healthcare delivery paradigm. That’s why this is critical work that must be done to finally move forward from the dated, uninspired model of telemedicine to the new and impactful world of virtual care. It’s my personal commitment to help clinicians and the industry deliver better care for all.

Millenia ago, the wheel was invented to move something larger than one human alone could move, and that’s what I’m asking of the industry. Join me in amplifying the power and potential of virtual care. We’ve already made so much progress! Together we can continue to move the industry forward to expand access to quality care in our country.

I’m interested in hearing what you have to say. How do you think we can move healthcare forward? What are the imperatives necessary to take full advantage of our technological advances? I welcome your comments below.

Learn more about how Wheel is helping transform healthcare at Wheel.com.

CEO & Co-Founder of Wheel on a mission to change the way healthcare works by putting clinicians first and delivering the highest quality virtual care at scale.

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