By Deb K. Banerjee, MD, FACP, CHCQM, MBA/HCM

Imagine you were in a perfect world of healthcare delivery. No restrictions for your hospital, physicians, nursing homes, investigations or site of surgery. No cap on home health agencies, or the type of medication to take. No silo between mental and physical health, no restrictions to choose your own physician, or a health aide. 

Imagine as a physician you are free to practice evidence-based medicine. You did not order tests out of fear of being sued. You were able to treat the patient as a whole and not only the kidney, lungs, heart and brain or the abnormal lab tests. Imagine if there was a mutual respect and understanding between patients, physicians, families and the plethora of all the care givers. 

Imagine that there was never a queue for the MRI or an interventional radiology procedure. A test ordered just to identify zebras upfront. Admissions were not done for the convenience of the doctor or the patient but because it was the right thing to do for that patient at that time.

Imagine if the patient was not “stuck” in the hospital due to lack of insurance coverage or authorization, or that every single patient required to be evaluated by a physical therapist. That safety was paramount and everyone took ownership of their respective duties and performed them with compassion and human kindness. The ER physician did not admit the patient to the hospital because there was no other option to care for the patient. 

Imagine as a physician your bills were paid on time for the services rendered and as an insurance company there was no fraudulent billing. Imagine there was no surprise billing at the back end. Imagine if everyone accepted their own mortality and limited lifespan. That palliative care was not ordered to just not care for the sick patient and not perceived as a “dump” but a thoughtful and compassionate decision made to improve the quality of life of another human. 

So my fellow colleagues, let your imagination run free and work towards parts of it to come to fruition. Maybe with time and effort we shall soon be in a Utopia to let us practice our work in a noble and humble fashion. 

Inspired by John Lennon