Innovation or Procrastination?

One of the challenges facing all clinicians is how to stay up to date when new treatments emerge.

Inevitable much research has been carried out looking at early adopters, late adopters, laggards and luddites. Usually the research focus shifts to the "barriers" of innovation.

It is often the dissemination and adoption phases of innovation which pose the highest challenges. Much focus is placed on "removing" the barriers.

Despite this research, mountains of evidence and guidance, adoption is slow, patchy and possibly dangerous for many of the newest treatments.

Perhaps we should look at the other end of the problem.

As clinicians we all intend to do the right thing, but somehow it just never seems the right time/ option/ circumstance for us to use the drug or treatment.

Our slowness to adopt is not necessarily a negative act. It could actually be a positive, but subconscious, choice to procrastinate.

Peers Steel, in the Procrastination Equation proposes a theory which describes the complex organic choices which result in many of us not accomplishing those tasks we should do or even those we choose to do.

My contention is that Innovation or procrastination are reciprocal in nature. Over time we live with choices, the world changes, we either do or do not change with it. When it comes to professional practice there are things we "should" do, because evidence, guidelines, dictat, all say we should.

Steel proposes that Value, Expectations and Time are all related to how badly we procrastinate. Do we value the change? What's in it for us? Can we physically accomplish it now, given all the competing distractions which are prioritised in our routines.

Already it would appear that a reward system, with time and financial consequences are sine qua non for innovation.

So perhaps Innovation: Health and Wealth will remove the incentives to procrastinate.