The Concept Of Minimalism In Healthcare

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The idea of minimalism does not eliminate the need to be thorough and detailed. It only emphasises the importance of using less to achieve more by eliminating excess joints, bends, and processes. 

Minimalism in healthcare can be expressed in various aspects, such as data handling, treatment methods, how healthcare professionals render care, the design and development of digital health solutions, adjunct therapies, rehabilitation, and other medical concepts.

The minimalism principle follows the idea that less is more, which means using the least but most effective resources every time.

We can trace minimalism to its first expression in New York in the 1960s among young artists who created a new style in their art using fewer abstract expressions and focusing on sleek and simplistic works. 

Minimalism became mainstream in the 2000s after spreading to various areas of life in the late 20th century.

From the arts, minimalism has moved to living (called simple living), influencing work, healthcare, and all aspects of life. 

It has become popularly accepted with the saying “less is more.”

When collecting information through surveys, we use the principle of minimalism to ensure that the questions are straightforward and the answers are concise. 

Data engineers in digital health and health tech have applied minimalism to build various structures for data collection, analysis, organisation, and interpretation.

It’s also applied in designing and developing healthcare solutions, from medical devices and consumables to administration processes and all other aspects of healthcare practice and delivery. 

In an article published by Jim Gera, SVP of business development, Signature Medical Group Inc., he discusses the minimalist approach to healthcare. 

He describes Dr Leazenby of Relish Health LLC’s experience with burnout and how she embraced the minimalist approach in her micro practice, helping her to become more valuable to her patients, maximise resources, and increase her quality of life.

Implementing minimalism in healthcare’s primary aim is to improve the quality of care, reduce costs, and increase patient satisfaction. 

As reported in their article on medical minimalismPritikin Luxury Wellness Retreat shared the story of a patient who was taking a combination of numerous medications (17 medications and 15 supplements and herbs) that sent the patient, who happened to be a businessman into a drug-induced stupor. 

The attending physician at Pritikin thoroughly scrutinised all his medications and discovered some hazardous combinations. At the end of his stay, he was going back with just One Pill!

Healthcare professionals can practically incorporate the principle of minimalism into their approach to work and patient care; this involves handling daily tasks with simplicity and creating a work environment with spacious desks, neutral colours, optimal lighting, and minimal distractions. This approach aims to improve efficiency and ultimately enhance the quality of services provided to patients and clients.

The idea of minimalism does not eliminate the need to be thorough and detailed. It only emphasises the importance of using less to achieve more by eliminating excess joints, bends, and processes. 

In healthcare, this would mean ensuring that the patient or client gets the most “lean” type of care while preserving the quality of care rendered and prioritising patient safety and satisfaction. 

The patient goes home with the most essential drug prescriptions, is subjected to the most important medical tests, is exposed to minimal doses of potentially harmful medical substances like x-rays and chemotherapy, and isn’t caught up in lengthy paperwork and organisational and administrative intricacies–the list goes on and on. 

As we approach patient care as nurses, doctors, pharmacists, medical laboratory scientists, and healthcare data professionals, let us always have it in our hearts to make the patient and client experience as smooth as possible by applying minimalist principles, where less is always more. 

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