Steve Calvin M.D. on pregnancy care, health care reform, and innovation

Insight from my sister (and Doc Searls)

My sister DeVon once told me, “Health care is just a high tech service industry”.   She is right.  Unfortunately most of our pregnancy care system is a medical/industrial model that does customer service very poorly and at outrageous cost.  Something needed to be done and we are doing our little bit here in Minnesota.  Our maternity/newborn care improvement efforts are meant to better serve mothers, babies, and fathers.   We are seeing overwhelming interest and real success as we deliver high quality midwife-directed primary maternity care within the context of a true team of nurse midwives, doulas, and physicians.  Eventually this will be done for a single package price through the BirthBundleTM.
 
I have been wondering why we are having such success.  Here is one thought.  Two years ago I had the privilege of meeting Doc Searls at a small conference in Minneapolis.  He is an American original and full of insights.  His recent book, The Intention Economy, is a great read and a fresh description of where we should be going in our our economic relationships – which always have a personal component.  Doc Searls motivates me.  He says that, “Markets are conversations.”  We would do well to remember that.  
 
Though I thought the following quote was by Doc Searls it was by Chris Locke one of Doc’s co-authors of The Cluetrain Manifesto.  The following, with my addition in parentheses, is what I hear loud and clear from the strong women who choose to support and give birth in a new model of care: 
 
“We are not seats or eyeballs or end users or consumers (nor “births” or “patients”); we are human beings — and our reach exceeds your grasp … Deal With It.”

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