A Canadian healthcare leader provides insights into the services of tomorrow
As published in the Vancouver Sun on April 22, 2012
To understand the future of comprehensive medicine we sat down with Copeman Healthcare. Who better to ask than the people that invented and continue to lead comprehensive primary healthcare in Canada. From our discussions we identified the following 7 top trends.
1. Outstanding customer service
Healthcare of the future will be inspired by concepts borrowed from private clubs and the hospitality industry. Outstanding customer service with patients treated like clients will redefine what it means to see your doctor. The clinic of tomorrow will be characterized by warm surroundings, a collegial atmosphere and comfortable reception areas where clients may soon forget why they came.
2. Collaborative Care Under One Roof
Integrated services that combine family physicians, specialists, psychologists, physiotherapists, dietitians, kinesiologists and other important health professionals will provide a truly collaborative approach to tackling prevention, early detection and treatment. Medical professionals won’t just be all under one roof – they will work actively together on people’s medical files to offer maximum expertise to patients.
3. Personalized services
Don Copeman, founder and visionary behind Copeman Healthcare Centres understands that different clients may seek comprehensive medical services for different reasons, but personal attention is always one of them.
“The clinic of tomorrow will provide world-class medical care when patients need it and prevention when they’re ready for it. Patients will be very well educated but they won’t be told how to live. Professionals will offer the very best in integrated healthcare while monitoring readiness for change carefully. They will step in when patients need help with lifestyle change and are ready for it. This will be a fundamental shift in thinking and a new type of medical effort.”
That will mean different things to different people. Many busy executives will simply want comprehensive annual assessments and quick access to a doctor. Retired professionals will enjoy unhurried comprehensive healthcare that allows them to spend more time with their physicians and other professionals.
4. Treating the Whole Person
Medical science consistently suggests that complete wellness requires optimal physical, psychological and brain health. The often forgotten organ of the brain has traditionally taken a backseat to the much more publicized organs of the heart and lungs. As our population ages, care will increasingly need to consider the healthy functioning of the brain. Comprehensive clinics will focus on early intervention for age and disease-related cognitive decline. Programs for Alzheimer’s, dementia and brain fitness will care for mature patients while services like concussion management and ADHD screening will take care of younger patients. The future of care will be defined by integrated services that work across professional disciplines to provide care for the body, mind, and brain.
5. Children’s programming
Care providers have recognized that prevention is most effective when started early. Comprehensive healthcare providers will begin to introduce innovative child-friendly programs that offer parents and children things like developmental education seminars, age-appropriate health assessments, psycho-educational learning assessments, ADHD diagnosis & treatment and sports-related concussion services. These programs will start children on the path to early disease prevention, detection, and management.
6. Satellite clinics
Programs and services will be offered closer to the communities where patients live or work. This will be accomplished through the concept of the satellite clinic. Specialized services will be available through large, centralized centers of excellence, but core medical, laboratory and children’s programs will be offered by satellite clinics dispersed throughout the community. This will offer patients greater convenience while continuing to provide access to the full Centres when needed.
7. Healthy aging
As the average age of our population rises, there will be much greater demand for health services. However, because the “baby boomer” generation is more enlightened when it comes to health, the demands on the public health system may be less than those in the private sector. Exercise, nutrition, mental wellness, and brain fitness programs, will quench the aging population’s thirst for maintaining a full and active lifestyle. Many of those with specific medical issues will be able to afford premium health services that include at-home medical and health management services.