Stephen Klasko: What Healthcare Will Look Like in 2020 (Transcript)

It was an Adidas marketing campaign back in 2014 called the Impossible, it said “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men and women who find it easier to live the world they’ve been given rather than explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact, it’s an opinion. Impossible is temporary, impossible is nothing.”

So we decided, what the heck, let’s do the impossible. Because everybody knew things were changing, we weren’t going to wait for a miracle. And we said, “Let’s do it.” Okay so, here it is, it’s March 28, 2024, now I apologize for those of you who come from this decade, but I know some of you probably have time travel lag, and I just want you to know where we’re at today.

So it’s March 28, 2024, President Jenna Bush will be debating democratic nominee Chelsea Clinton, in what a lot of people think will be a very tight race. Harrison Ford has signed on for one last Indiana Jones sequel. Tentatively titled Indiana Jones: the Legend of Bingo Night, we’re all excited about that one. And the Eagles are 2-0 and trying to win their first Superbowl since the unprecedented four straight they won from 2015 to 2018, the so-called Chip Championship Years. Of course, Governor Chip now has a very different job than he had back then.

But more importantly, more importantly or as importantly, Jefferson is celebrating it’s 200th anniversary as a state wide national, and international hub of innovation, with headquarters in Philadelphia instead of just a Philadelphia academic medical center. We’ve become a destination site for innovation entrepreneurial health with unprecedented economic development.

And our creative partnerships have allowed us to become what the Wall Street Journal called a thriving cluster on the verge of a chain reaction. Which has helped make Philadelphia the epicenter of the new healthcare. Oh and by the way, I’m getting out of my DeLorean to accept an award from the US News and the Interplanetary Report, as most of you know, in 2019 we found two other planets with slightly dysfunctional heath systems.

So they are now part of the ranking system that the forward USNWR uses. So how did we get there? I’d like to, TEDx has asked me to talk about three things that we did that were very different.

First of all we decided that we’re going to start to create docs of the future. That it’s ridiculous to have the same way that we selected and educated physicians that became autonomous, competitive, and hierarchical, and that we actually were going to change the DNA of healthcare literally one physician at a time. You might now believe this, but back in 2014 we still chose doctors based on science GPAs, MedCaTs which were a multiple choice test, and organic chemistry performance.

And somehow we were amazed that doctors weren’t more empathetic, commutative, and creative. As my kids would say, “Duh”. So we changed all that. What we recognized is that it used to be for those of you who came from the 70s, and I think there are actually some, I see some people from 2014, I see some people from the 80s. Go Journey, yeah.

I see some tie dye out there, some 60s and 70s, peace. But we decided to transform admissions. What we realized is that all the scientific data is all on, what we called in 2014, iPhones and Androids, but really what we needed were really emotionally intelligent physicians. So we now really select physicians based on self-awareness, self-management, and the ability to adapt, social awareness and empathy, relationship management, teamwork, and the ability to really embrace change instead of fighting it. But not only that we totally changed the way that we teach the physicians that we do accept.

Believe it or not back in 2014, we used to spend two years really teaching them scientific principles in large auditoriums, classes that a lot of them didn’t come to, when we recognized that we could do all that, have them learn that at two o’clock in the morning.

Now we spend most of our time in what we call the Art of Attending. Teaching them to really observe, we started back in 2014, workshops designed to sharpen observation skills of health students by looking at art. Very unusual partnership, it was Thomas Jefferson University, a contemporary art museum, and an institute for an optimistic future in healthcare. We took students and had them understand art.

So if you take this piece of art over here. Medical students originally said, “That’s a woman, that’s a snake, that’s a family.” But when you start to look and say what is the story? It starts to totally change the way that they cared for patients. And at the end of the day we went from silos of full-time individuals to folks who could deliver team-enabled and team-based care.

Doctors went from being captains of the ship to being part of a team, and they believe it or not worked closely with multidisciplinary care and delivery teams. Including doctors of nursing practice, nurse practitioners, clinical pharmacists, physician’s assistants, and at the Thomas Jefferson Institute of Emerging Health Professions, professions that didn’t even exist in 2014.

Things like probability experts, electronic health care ambassadors, and telehealth professionals. So we recognized that we need to evolve doctoring. We also recognized that the patient experience was really pretty lousy. Back in 2014 you could actually do anything you needed to do in travel, anything you needed to do in shopping, on a device, but could you get an appointment with a physician? No.

Could you interact with a doctor or nurse? No. So we decided that healthcare needed in 2014, to get into the E and I mode. If you even look at how people viewed us from TV shows, how many of you are here from the 70s? There you go, okay. So the big tip in the 70s was Marcus Welby.

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By Pangambam S

I have been a Transcriber and Editor in the transcription industry for the past 15 years. Now I transcribe and edit at If you have any questions or suggestions, please do let me know. And please do share this post if you liked it and help you in any way.