I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and will have a wonderful holiday season. In my last newsletter I mentioned going upstream, and here is the explanation:
There were four friends walking in the woods alongside a river, when they saw a baby floating by down the river. The friends ran to the river, jumped in, and rescued the baby. Feeling good about what they had done, the friends were shocked to see another baby floating by. Once again they jumped in to rescue the baby. But soon there were more babies floating by, and soon it seemed that the number was increasing. The friends formed a line, a “bucket brigade”, to quickly pass the infants from one to the other to rescue them as quickly as possible. And still they kept coming.
Finally, one of the friends got out of the river and started walking upstream. One of the others called out “where are you going?” The friend replied “I’m going upstream to see who is throwing babies into the river and stop them”.
I call this being an “upstreamist” and I was happy to see that term used in the article I have linked to below. Given the crisis of our healthcare system, we need to go upstream to the source of the problem(s) if we are going to really solve them.
Providing healthcare advocacy is one way to go upstream and avoid problems before they occur and need to be fixed.
If our high-cost sick-care system is to transform into a high-value health care system, we must cultivate more upstreamists. Everyone, from patients to doctors to legislators to educators, can play a role.