It’s spring, birds start to sing in the morning, trees grow leaves, the days lengthen and I sense a growing resistance to the increase of the administrative burden healthcare professionals face.

We need spring. We need the vibrancy of the smell, the colours, and the rich sounds to revive the passion of those who take care of us when our health isn’t what it should be. They have become distracted. From us, the patients. By computers, billing codes, checklists, and compliance. Some say this increased by 4000% since the seventies.

Others like the well known Atul Gawande stated: “The volume of knowledge and capability increases faster than any individual can manage — and faster than our technologies can make manageable for us”, in his NewYorker article. And my good friend ZDoggMD made one of his famous Parody Rapp-videos about it.

He also did an interesting video on the same topic: how EMRs killed medicine. And yet, why is it that real change is still not seen in the consultations rooms, why more and more professionals face burnout because of the long working hours with patients, after which they still have 2-3 hours of administrative tasks to do.

The technology was intended to help make healthcare better, not worse. The opposite seems true and has created a dark fall-like atmosphere that isn’t appealing anymore for jobs within healthcare itself. People resign earlier then they intended when they started their career, and as a teen – from what you’d read in the newspapers and online media-, you would be nuts if you would choose a career in healthcare.

In the Netherlands, there is a strong movement going on right now, to get rid of as many silly rules and protocols as possible, leaving only those with impact. Maybe we should use this spring to do the same with all those registrations, computers, non-connected-systems, and heavily overrated information poured over those who choose to help humans, not become clerks.

We need technology for good reasons, but somewhere down the line, it seems we’ve taken a wrong turn, let’s make sure our healthcare workers don’t lose their purpose and bring back the passion they have to treat humans instead of computers.

Let it be spring…

About this column:

In a weekly column, alternately written by Maarten Steinbuch, Mary Fiers, Carlo van de Weijer, Lucien Engelen, Tessie Hartjes and Auke Hoekstra, Innovation Origins tries to find out what the future will look like. The six columnists, occasionally supplemented with guest bloggers, are all working in their own way on solutions for the problems of our time. So tomorrow will be good. Here are all the previous episodes.

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