I think it's safe to say that one of the strengths of geek culture and geeks individually is vision. We tend to be problem-oriented and analytical thinkers who are fantastic at dreaming up ways to apply new technology, finding new solutions, and identifying the potential for change that a concept or tool can bring. We bring this vision to games, fiction, tech toys, and all manner of geekly pursuits.
As a geek in health care policy, I'm here to tell you that this same unique combination of skills has amazing potential to think up the newest, coolest ways of implementing health care and maximizing your score. As Child's Play grows and donations continue to rise, I think it's time we applied our genius to expanding the mission of Child's Play, throwing in some side-quests, and racking up a more varied set of achievements.
This is not something one person does alone. I'm hoping to reach out to other geeks in health care who share a passion for innovation and have opinions, ideas, or expertise that could brainstorm projects and maybe even put together a funding proposal. The VA is doing things like putting video conference locations in rural areas that keep vets from having to drive to major cities to visit specialists and has paid for itself within a handful of visits. Think of what a program like this could do for kids and their families who have been discharged from children's hospitals but still have to return every 3 months for specialist appointments at the cost of school hours and family income. This is just one way we could start exploring how to get the best outcomes for children's health by applying our community resources: not just our donations, but our brains.
I'm hoping this can start a discussion, here or maybe we could set up a symposium at PAX. I'd love to hear from Robert, Jamie, or Sarah at Child's Play about whether this kind of thing is even desired, or maybe they already have something in the works. If there's a better way to go about this, I'd like to hear about that too. Please discuss if you're interested!