Connections - 08.31.20

From Reimagining to Reality: Replacing Traditional Care Models with Next Generation Services

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by Staff at GoodLife, Innovations, Inc.

GoodLife’s most valuable outcomes are the result of listening to and understanding our most vulnerable residents. Here’s what we know for sure, especially in the midst of Covid-19:

  1. It is virtually impossible to prevent or contain cross contamination in congregate settings (like nursing homes, clinics of all kinds, etc.). Over 40% of the COVID-related fatalities so far have been in long-term care facilities of all types — now over 68,000 nationwide. To make congregate care even marginally safer requires increased isolation and seclusion–the opposite of what we want and need as humans.
  2. People want to live as independently as possible, safely in their own homes. They want to receive care and support from those they know and trust, in the safest and least intrusive way possible. They want to be independent, but not isolated or lonely. They crave enrichment, engagement, and connectivity.

New Thinking for Real Change

We’ve known for some time now that traditional behavioral and health services are not a long-term answer. And unfortunately, bolting technologies onto antiquated service models will not change that reality. Time and time again, we’ve seen people and institutions “want” to preserve what they have (think Blockbuster Video) and change as little as possible to maintain current processes and investments in existing infrastructure. It just doesn’t work.

To truly make change, we must think differently. Companies like Amazon, Instacart, Netflix, Uber, and GrubHub were created (or recreated from the ground up) using new business models that changed how the world works. Their founders did not merely take technologies or software and attach them to old service approaches. Instead, they provided us new ways to receive support that smartly use technologies.

To create a new behavioral/health paradigm, we must build a service model guided by a new vision, mission, and goals that are not necessarily burdened by the way things work. Thanks to COVID-19, this new vision must also deploy and deliver support very differently than ever before.

Initial Lessons from the Pandemic

Experiencing a pandemic in the last several months has put a spotlight on our care delivery systems: what works, what doesn’t, and what is needed. Doctors, nurses, behaviorists, social workers, care coordinators, and program administrators are struggling with the reality that the system is not set up to allow them to provide care in small settings. Our current support infrastructure is inadequate, disjointed, difficult to navigate, and impossible for people with complex needs to adequately leverage. We need a new way, a new infrastructure, and a new delivery system. GoodLife has been hard at work designing a new paradigm of care and redefining what’s possible. While the work is far from over, we’d love to hear how your organization is adapting–or how we can help–in these uncertain times.

This article was authored by staff writers at GoodLife Innovations. For more information, contact [email protected] or visit GoodLife’s website.