Healthcare's Thousand Little Fixes: A Playbook for Change

Jonathan Minson

December 8, 2023

American healthcare's taking more hits than a quarterback behind a shaky offensive line. We started with meaningful use, a game plan that looked good on paper but ended up with doctors playing more with keyboards than with stethoscopes. Then came the shift to value-based care, a fancy trick play that too often ended up in a tangle of red tape and confused providers.

So, where does healthcare go from here? Maybe it's time for a Hail Mary, right? Something that shakes the foundations, something big. But here's the twist – healthcare's woes didn't come from just one bad play; they're a season's worth of missteps. And fixing it? That's not a one-play deal either.

Don't Forego Field Goals

Let's talk football for a second. In our neck of the woods, the Dallas Cowboys stir up as much passion as a Bedlam game. Remember that nail-biter in Philly? Cowboys were in the red zone more times than I can count, but they kept passing up sure-thing field goals for risky fourth downs. End result? Lost by a whisker. There's wisdom in the old gridiron saying, "Never take points off the board." It's not flashy, but boy, it's true.

Healthcare's Big Swings

We see this in healthcare too. Big, fancy plays like ambient patient room listening, automated note creation, AI-driven decisions – it's like drafting a high-dollar quarterback when what you need is a solid offensive line. These are headline-grabbers, sure, but let's not forget the power of the ground game – the consistent, small yardage gains.

There's a buzz around these high-tech solutions, like stepping into a high-stakes game where healthcare meets the future. And yeah, they're exciting. But while we're reaching for the stars, let's not forget about the day-to-day plays that keep the lights on and the doors open.

The Power of Small Fixes

Healthcare's big wins often come in the less glamorous moments. Like a steady drive down the field, small fixes make a big difference. We're talking about automating the no-brainers – appointment reminders, digitizing paperwork, smoothing out waitlists. Cutting down on the playbook complexity – direct patient messaging from EHRs. And let's not forget about team communication – integrating systems, cutting down on those missed connections.

Each of these might seem like just a couple of yards gained, but put them together, and you've got a winning drive.

A Call to the Sidelines

Here's a coach's challenge for healthcare admins: take a walk around your facility. Notice how much of the game is still being played with sticky notes, spreadsheets, phone tag, and sheer memory. These aren't just quirks; they're fumbles waiting to happen. Automating these plays? That's not just saving time; it's about putting points on the board where they count.

Each note, each missed call, each forgotten email – they're all chances for a better play, a smoother operation, a healthcare system that's not just running plays but scoring points for patient care.


At Calvient, we're not just playing the game; we're changing it. By focusing on the small stuff, the routine plays, we're building a healthcare system that works for everyone involved, especially the patients. It's a long season, but remember, healthcare can indeed be improved by a thousand little fixes. Just like in football, the game's won in the inches, not just the miles.