August 15, 2013
ONE STEP FORWARD FOR DIY HEALTHCARE.
The California Supreme Court has ruled that public schools can give insulin injections to students without bringing in nurses. Prior to the ruling, some schools in the state required that shots only be given by licensed professionals, but the skewed nurse-to-student ratio was hampering children’s ability to get routine care. Parents with diabetic children sued for relaxed standards, and in the higher court, they won. . . .
This is small victory worth celebrating in its own right, but it’s interesting primarily for the disintermediation of healthcare that it points to. As the ACA exacerbates the doctor shortage and tech empowers people with lower (or no) training to administer more care, we’ll see more and more stories like this.
Some powers previously belonging to doctors will get devolved to nurse practitioners or nurses, while other powers will be given to unlicensed staff or ordinary laypeople. . . .
Although we feel for those medical professionals concerned for their future in a tech-heavy world, the best response is to work on creative and empowering ways to adapt to this new world, rather than fighting it. Doctor shortages mean that we’ll have to find new ways of delivering care, and med tech’s ability to kick basic care down the line will ultimately help lower costs without sacrificing quality.
In fact, there’s some sign we’re turning that corner now. My biggest worry about ObamaCare, in fact, is that it will short-circuit some of that technology.