Improving Patient Experience: Where is Healthcare’s “Kahn Academy”?

My first trip to London was a while ago.  In fact, I do not think Prince Charles had even started stepping out at night with Mrs. Doubtfire.  It was at a time when television in the UK consisted of BBC1, BBC2, and Channel 3.  Jetlagged, I flipped through the three channels looking for something to watch to help me stay awake.

BBC1 was showing something about the migratory habits of the gnu, televised from some country that nobody in the US had ever heard of—sorry for ending in a preposition—and narrated by one of the dozens of British people who sound like David Attenborough.  BBC2 was playing a game show that had all of the grammarians all-a-tither.  Something to do with contrasting antediluvian prepositions employed by Emily Bronte and Lord Byron.

And Channel 3 was televising a live, week-long dart tournament.  How come ESPN doesn’t hop on that bandwagon?  I opted to watch the darts.  It had the same flare as our Superbowl.  Those attending were kitted-out with face paint, colourful (British spelling) wigs, and dressed like their favorite players, even down to the kilts some were wearing.

I watched the entirety of the first day’s matches and found myself getting somewhat caught up in the drama of the spectacle.  I made sure to leave work spot-on at half-six the next day in order to get home in time to watch Day 2.  By Day 3 I found myself in the hotel pub, drinking Guinness, and shouting at the tele with all of my new mates.

There is a lot to be said for getting what you want from television and videos.  Last night I logged into the Kahn Academy to teach my son about difference quotients for his pre-calc class.  Later that night I used a separate video to help my daughter understand the difference between elements and compounds.

That led me to ask “Where is healthcare’s Kahn Academy?”  Naturally, we will need to pick a different name, but why isn’t there something like this.  Hospitals could even collaborate, seek funding, and build it out under a public service not-for-profit entity.

I think a Healthcare Academy would be a real boost for patient experience.  What if patients could learn in detail about their illness by watching a video?  What is they could learn how to treat and what to do for flu-like symptoms.  Why not have videos that spoke to discharge orders of various procedures? What not have videos showing what to do for and MRI or what happens during an endoscopy?

A lot of the questions patients and prospective patients have could be addressed fully through such a tool, especially in an industry that accounts for twenty percent  of our country’s spend.

What do you think?

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