After Percy Harvin's father left, his Mom started a daycare out of the home to make ends meet. Percy, always wanting to contribute to his family, would help with the little ones when he got out of school.
Percy wasn't just conscientious or a hard worker, though: Percy had a spark. His athletic talent grew through his high school and college years. And then, he won the sports lottery -- Percy was drafted to the NFL.
After his rookie year, things changed. Percy suffered a string of illnesses and injuries that made him miss game after game. Finally, just last year, Percy was traded to the Seahawks. A new franchise that had never won a Super Bowl, the team's motto was "why not us." Unfortunately, though, Percy was suffering from serious injuries. Over the course of the '13-'14 season, he only played a couple of minutes.
As Percy navigated hip surgery, inflammation, pain, and finally a concussion, the Seahawks made their way steadily toward the Super Bowl. Just 10 days before the big game, Percy was still on the injured list.
Percy's doctors, physical therapists, and other providers were obviously doing effective care coordination, though, because suddenly, just 7 days before the Super Bowl, Percy was cleared for play. Once Percy made it onto the field, he mage a significant contribution. His kick-off runback seemed to break the spirit of the Denver Broncos, eventually leading to his new team and beaming coach winning their first-ever championship.
Had Percy's recovery taken just a week longer, he would have missed the Super Bowl and maybe led to a loss -- an event potentially hugely damaging to his career. Those seven days of speedier recovery, likely due to care coordination and thoughtful medical care, were profoundly valuable to Percy, his team, and his family. When we save patients days, weeks, or months of injury and sickness -- whether the issue is cancer, hip issues, colitis, or congestive heart failure -- we don't always see the benefits so starkly. But Percy Harvin's story shows that care coordination with telemedicine not only saves lives -- it can save careers, whether you're an NFL player, a mom, or a mid-level manager.
So the next time you're wondering whether care coordination could help your patient, even if you don't have a system in place, ask yourself, "why not us?" And give coordination, collaboration, and telemedicine a shot. It will definitely contribute to a life, and might even save a career.
Get our guide to medical collaboration and care coordination here:
Image courtesy of ifindkarma on flickr.com, used under Creative Commons rights. Percy Harvin's story and facts from his wikipedia page.