Friday, December 25, 2015

Rocked? Really?

It was with some dismay that I read Modern Healthcare's article called, "The 30 events that rocked healthcare's world in 2015."  I jumped into the piece, confident that I would, indeed, find some developments that have made a difference in the quality and safety of patient care, that would introduce transparency, and that would encourage a greater partnership between clinicians and patients and families.

What I found instead was a version of The Nightly Business Report--a series of stories mainly about the corporate and financial interests of pharma, insurance companies, big hospitals, and big government.  These stories have nothing to do with what actually happens on the floors and units of America's hospitals or in the offices of local physician practices.  There is nothing in the stories that is motivational to the doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals who have devoted their lives to taking care of us.  There is nothing in the stories that presents an empathetic view of what happens to us when we interact with the health care system as patients or families.

More importantly, there is nothing in the stories about the things that have really moved aspects of the health care world, like cooperation among over 80 pediatric hospitals expanding from Ohio and moving nationwide that slowly and sustainability improve the quality and safety of care.  Or like the campaign that leads to a persistent growth in knowledge about diagnosing and treating sepsis.  Or the expansion of the Lean philosophy through more places, improving the quality of the workplace and the delivery of care. Or the systematic engagement of patients and caregivers in learning from one another.

Oh, I know these things are boring compared to the transfer of billions of dollars among multi-billion-dollar entities.  But those entities, mainly cost structures in search of revenue streams, are not where the action occurs.  It occurs on the ground, where clinical, admininstrative, and governance leaders make a constant commitment to improvement, are modest about what they know, and are not afraid to experiment for the public good.


Gene Lindsey said...


You are so right. There is no passion in revenue, cash flow or ROI. The joy of practice and in supporting those in practice comes from realizing that step by step we are making a little progress toward safer, higher quality care for more and more people. Our passion for doing it efficiently arises from the realistic knowledge that if we are better stewards of other people's money we can extend the benefit of our capability to deliver improved care to more people without under mining other import issues of common concern like education, infrastruture, social services and culture. We should turn the lights and insist on transparency so everyone can understand what really makes a difference.

Keep telling it like it is in 2016!

Gene Lindsey

Gene Lindsey

Anonymous said...

Probably because Modern Healthcare has become all about corporations, money, profits, bloated admin and less about patients and doctors. Its all about covering up and the gag orders, less about showing how you will help patients in the future and what kind of care you will provide for those you screwed up on. Its why doctors are the 3rd most trusted profession and why they'll keep falling further.

Lack of accountability and responsibility do that to a profession.

Bob said...

The main event in modern healthcare is corporatization. The rest is out on the outlying courts.

e-Patient Dave said...

I'm not the least surprised, nor shocked - the tagline on their site says "the leader in healthcare *business* news, research and data." Truth in advertising, no subterfuge, except they don't say "Modern Healthcare Business" all the time.