Hongli Yang ’15 – Today we visited Dr. Bernie Emkes ’70 of St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital. After a brief introduction on the history of St. Vincent Hospital, Dr. Emkes showed us around the main building and Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. I am really amazed by the amount of care the hospital provides to its patients. The word “care” does not only exist in the core value of the hospital. Every morning, the administrators gather in a room and hold a 15-min safety huddle. They reflect on yesterday’s performance and come up with measures to improve the operations. Moreover, we noticed a lot of details that exhibit the hospital’s commitment to offer every patient great experience: the nurses are somewhat “specialized” so that they are proficient in their practice; the ER is able to finish the test in a short time; and the layout and setup in Children’s Hospital are comfortable and personalized for kids.
In addition, we get to understand the challenges and opportunities in health care from Dr. Emkes’s angle. The American health care system has deep-rooted issues. It is a four-player game: the complicated way doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and patients are connected makes it hard to understand what is actually going on. And the Affordable Care Act just adds to the mystery. For the first time, I learned about patient engagement. Some patients comprise the efficiency and quality of health care by not following the doctor’s order. Thus, we need new approaches to reduce unnecessary hospital visits. The medical resources are limited and we do not want to waste them. Therefore, we need to get patients more responsible for their action. Besides, we are happy to see new opportunities that would help us transform the health care industry. “Telemedicine”, the combination of technology and health care, has a very promising outlook to improve the efficiency and quality of health care. And other technologies are similarly tempting.
The Health Care Immersion Program has been an eye opener for me. And I really enjoyed the first-hand exposure to various health care professionals. As an Economics major, this immersion program has greatly shaped my view of the health care system. Health care is related to every one, and this “liberal arts” approach to life has made me more informed about our world and better prepared for future challenges. I am really thankful for this opportunity and I hope that more Wabash men take part and benefit from this program.