Most healthcare providers don't have a lot of mental or physical space during their work day. Whether it's to make a phone call, have a bite of lunch, or a private conversation with a colleague.
I always used to find respite in the surgeon's lounge, both the respite of a quiet moment, and the respite of an inspiring or helpful conversation with a colleague.
Today's medical context is simultaneously more isolating and more exposed that it ever was before.
We're almost never left to quiet and solitude to reflect on a patient -- but we're also very much disconnected from our colleagues when it comes to collaborating on a case.
So I was curious to hear a radio story that looked to the origins of the "open offices" so popular now in corporate America. It's now quite mainstream to have an open, playful, flexible office, but when the advertising agency Chiat-Day created one, it was incredibly unique.
As Planet Money describes the office: "There was also a ping-pong table, a giant staircase to nowhere and the piece de resistance, the floor - poured plastic resin… The desks in this office were all on wheels, and the chairs were plastic with coiled springs for legs." It was gorgeous, it was bold, it was brash -- and everyone had to be moving and talking to each other all of the time. There was no room for anyone to have a private conversation, to store their things, or take some isolated time to think.
In fact, the architect that created it, Gaetano Pesce, still believes the design he came up with (pictures here) is transformative and is a boon for creativity.
Was the design a success or a failure? Well, it certainly depends who you ask. But many people who worked at Chiat-Day when they had the open office say that it was very cool but that it simply didn't work for everyone. For the more reflective, or the more introverted, or for those who simply needed to work in a different way, the office dictated a certain way of working -- rather than supported the unique way that each person wanted to work.
So on the one hand, I find the study fascinating because I think that in medicine, there is a very specific need to find a balance between connection and solitude. So much of what we talk about with iClickCare is that it connects you. We use telemedicine to facilitate healthcare collaboration -- connection among you and other providers.
But iClickCare also has another important role -- it protects you. Rather than the video-conferencing scheduling nightmare, or the million-and-one consult phone calls, or the barrage of emails that most of us face, iClickCare is specifically designed to work on your schedule, in your way. Hybrid store-and-forward telemedicine is asynchronous -- which means that you don't need to be answering consults, or requesting consults on any particular schedule -- you can do it in the way and at the time that works for you.
So we are always on the lookout for tools, spaces, designs, and cultures that are designed with people in mind -- all people.
Collaboration is good, but has to be on individuals' terms.
This is our guide to all the details, pros, and cons of hybrid store-and-forward telemedicine. You can download it here, for free: