Monday, November 16, 2009

The former Speaker speaks

Here are some folks from around the country at the Press Ganey National Client Conference today in Maryland. The "clients" is this case are hospital and physician groups who employ Press Ganey to conduct surveys of their patients. Over 1700 people attended. I was invited to talk at one of the sessions about the issue of using transparency to help create a culture of quality and safety.

The keynote speaker was Newt Gingrinch, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives (fuzzy picture above). Mr. Gingrich and I agree on some things and not on others. For example, his behavior with regard to the issue of so-called "death panels" was, in my mind, despicable. And, even in this speech, he had tendency to introduce partisan divisiveness when not really necessary.

That being said, he made some good points. He implored those in attendance to engage in continuous process improvement in their hospitals and not await government action to improve the quality and safety and cost-effectiveness of patient care. Essential to those improvement programs, he noted, is accurate data about clinical results, with concomitant transparency of those outcomes.

You can review other aspects of his work and ideas at the Center for Health Transformation.


Anonymous said...

Hey, you forgot your $5.00 lunch, haha! I am sure you ate much better.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for sharing. It sounds like Mr. Gingrich is still adept at sprinkling inflammatory politics throughout what is otherwise a compelling discussion. We hosted him as a speaker here at SAS two years ago with similar results -- fantastic speach and speaker with some really great ideas and solid thinking, but often offset by a political slant. But then again, what was that old parable of the scorpion and the frog? :)


Mark Graban said...

I saw Newt present today about e-Health at the Ontario Hospital Association event. I was able to chat with him about Lean before his talk (I'll write about this on my own blog).

He made a number of direct endorsements of Lean and the Toyota management system (and Dr. Deming) for healthcare, especially in the context of getting the most out of EHR/EMR.

Maybe it was because he was in Canada, but I thought Newt was pretty non-partisan in that setting, even saying nice things about President Obama being the most powerful change agent he's seen in 40 years.

Michael Moore was also a keynoter today, now that's a completely different story in terms of partisanship in a healthcare setting...

Paul, I apologize for the comments that might follow from me mentioning Moore...