Reflection # 5 (two days late and dollar short)


This week’s topic was culture. You know, the big thing that influences everybody yet almost seems invisible? I personally (and probably ignorantly) have always felt one step removed from popular culture. Currently my organization is very relaxed about dress code in the office. This was culture shock for me. Coming from a place where denim was NEVER allowed, to a place where staff wears slippers and Snuggies around the office. In retrospect I wasn’t removed from this culture because of who I am personally, but because of the previous culture I came from. I will occasionally participate in a casual day after two years of being in this culture, and I do keep a blanket under my desk to help keep off the year-round air-conditioning. You will however, NEVER see me in a Snuggie and slippers in the office.

 

What has stuck with me from the readings is the processes and in which culture is always changing and is ultimately developed as a way to cope with human nature. It is such a curious concept that I am not certain if I have completely grasped it yet. I work in the healthcare IT field, and it has really been impacted by all of the health care reform we experiencing currently. I have been to conferences, spoke to clinics, read studies, and have done personal research on the topic. I can’ shake this feeling of thinking some big piece is missing from this process.

 

It hit me while reading about culture. Our American culture is not ready for healthcare reform. We are actually implementing this backwards. We are putting in solutions before anyone knows how to use them. If we want to shift our culture into not only utilizing the healthcare reform solutions, but make them good consumers we need to almost start over.

 

If we need to lessen the amount of healthcare we are using, in order to better provide more people with access to healthcare then we need to start empowering ourselves (culture) to know the basics of self healthcare. With the cost of the healthcare reform, there must be a surge of education to current students, communities, and individuals. A sore throat, a cut that may need stitches, a sprained ankle, all of these things can tempt one to run to the doctor for treatment. In 2013, as access to the internet is ever so increasing, why is our culture not empowered to self-diagnose and treat simple ailments?

 

Our culture assumes that hospitals, ERs and urgent care are the solution to mild (non-life threatening) conditions. This can no longer be the assumption of American culture. The health systems, providers, patients, and communities can start to shift the paradigm. I don’t have all of the answers, but I think I am on to something… I would love your thoughts and feedback, please share!

References:

Schein, E. (2004). Organizational culture and leadership, 3rd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

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2 thoughts on “Reflection # 5 (two days late and dollar short)

  1. Good insights Lindsey. I would agree that culture change requires education and learning in order to “stick.”

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