Health Care in the Future

We are publishing a series of blog posts that dip into a future in which the Commons Corporation has become part of life so that we can share how it will feel…

This little scene is about how the Elysia Commons can help to make a wider range of complimentary health care choices more accessible and how the culture of transparency supports everyone by making sure the clients and practitioners really know what works.

Kate and her husband discuss a new opportunity to access healthcare and reflect on accountability…

“What’s that you’re reading?” Kate asked as she came in from getting the children to bed and settled down on the sofa.
“Oh, this? It’s the Elysia Magazine”
“I can see that! I wanted to know what exactly you are reading so avidly in it!”
“Well I’ll tell you when I’ve read it , but I can’t stop now….” and he didn’t, he read it all through twice and then he looked up to see if she was still there and said “there is a new clinic joined the Commons near us and there is a new scheme. The doctors want to know they are helping their patients and the Commons wants to know if the clinic is working too – we’re used to the transparency thing at work these days, but here it is being implemented in the health sector too.”
“Oh, you’re telling me now are you?” she said as she laid down her book on the seat beside her “so, you think I should stop what I am doing and listen to you now, do you?”
“Well you don’t have to” he said looking a bit baffled but she said
“It’s ok, I’m teasing, go on”
“Well the new system is that we get a lot of the service, including a lot of the complimentary medicines, for free, which is pretty amazing, but we have to tell them how we’re doing.”
“But we will tell them how we’re doing when we go in to see them anyway, so what’s funny about that?” she said.
“No, online, we have to make regular reports online about our health, particularly when we have been to the medical centre.”
“That is a bit funny” she said worried.
“Um, but it’s the same co-worker IT system I am already used to at work. It’s completely confidential and there are no adverts or anything, no commercial gain, it’s just how we know about things – the famous transparency of the Commons Corporation.”
“Anyway, it says here that the data is pooled, and our names aren’t stored with it. It’s so that the doctors and the centre can tell what’s working. It’s accountability.”
“Do the doctors like it?”
“There is a doctor here who says ‘all we want is to be able to heal people and to know that we are effective. Of course we might find out that we aren’t, but it would be better to find that out than to go on for years making no difference.’ which makes sense, although it’s brave isn’t it?”
“Well yes, I suppose so.”
“Interestingly though, it says here that the doctors see their own summarised results and the Health Foundation at Elysia CC sees the whole of the Centre’s results summarised.”
“So do you mean that the Foundation can’t see the individual doctors?”
“That’s what is says, it means that the accountability is therefore self-accountability – the results become an opportunity for a conversation, an opportunity to learn and improve that the doctors as individuals can take up if they want.”
“It’s funny, it’s different, but if you think about the way your work is managed… and that magazine. It’s the same idea isn’t it?”
“Yes, that we are all in it for the best we can do?”
“Yes, exactly, more information and more trust – and your life is completely different now, actually, isn’t it?”
He sat back reflecting. It was a year since his company had joined Elysia CC and he could see now, from the distance of a year, that a profound change had happened. She was right too, it was funny, but he shared a bigger picture now and he did put much more in, and yes, got much more out. “I wonder why nobody ever just did the whole trust and grow thing before? It’s so obvious, if feels so right. One of the managers told us it feels like being let our of prison – I mean that’s not a small thing to say.”
“No it’s not a small thing to say” she agreed, and the conversation lapsed as they both drifted off into thought. “Funnily enough” she continued quietly a while later “I want to take Joe to see a new doctor about his eczema, so maybe this is an opportunity… and we can find out what’s it’s all about directly then… too” she faded off and after a moment or two more sitting in silence got up and went through to the kitchen to make a cup of tea.

Sebastian Parsons

Social entrepreneur: Designed and founded the Elysia Commons. Co-founded and leads Stockwood Community Benefit Society Ltd. Worked in and led charities such as The Biodynamic Agricultural Association and The English Symphony Orchestra. Business man: runs - the ethical online department store. Built the Dr.Hauschka brand in the UK.