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I took a new path to work today.  Not by choice, but because I couldn’t cross the street.

I ride my bike to work (most days) and I have a very detailed path I take pretty much each day.  I ride down my street, turn right onto Mt. Washington Dr., which is one of Bend’s larger thoroughfares, and then I cut across into a neighborhood so I can get to the dirt trails that take me most of the way to the office.  It’s really a great ride, and I’ve never had reason to change it.  Until today.

It wasn’t  big deal at all, but today as I’m riding down Mt. Washington Dr. and getting ready to cut across and into the neighborhood so I can get to the trails, I couldn’t cross the street.  Not that there’s that much traffic on the road, but today there were just enough cars to strike me as impatient as I said, “[nuts],  I’m just going to keep going straight.”

Well I did, and guess what…I now have a new path to work.  I liked it sooooo much better.   A bit quicker, a bit safer, and it actually got me to the fun part (the trails) much faster than the old way.

So, like I said, not a big deal – but…

I improved my daily routine, not by choice, but by force (technically, I suppose you could call it impatience, but for purposes of this illustration let’s pretend that the traffic really did “force” my new route).  I immediately began to think about other times that my life or my career or my financial situation has changed for the better – not by choice, but by force.

A good example is Vantage.  This company didn’t start as a pipe dream while my partner and I were teenagers.  I actually didn’t get a promotion I was looking for at my hospital and my partner wasn’t advancing in his career as quickly as he wanted to, so we were “forced” to take our career into our own hands – and Vantage was born.  Not a bad change for our status quo.

Same goes for many of the private practices that exist out there.  Often times we’re dealing with all of the headaches of the healthcare industry and forget that we, and our clients, are being “forced” to change our status quo, and it isn’t always a bad thing.  Sure, the healthcare industry is far less than perfect, and while I’m not trying to imply that its warts are something we should cherish because they force us to become better, there is certainly opportunity to allow change to happen in a way that benefits our industry.

Here are a few of examples of the non-status quo happening in the healthcare industry, and I would guess that not one of them happened because the path well traveled was easy.

  • Hello Health – Improved access to a physician through a variety of formats (office, house calls, email, IM, phone)
  • Concierge Medicine – 24/7 access to physicians with greater emphasis on prevention, wellness, and personalized care
  • Minute Clinic– Walk-in only care for busy and underinsured persons who want to know the costs of their care upfront
  • Best Doctors – A collection of highly qualified physicians who provide second opinions when diagnosed with a serious illness
  • Google Health – Online storage of health information and medical records for patients on the go