Monday, September 16, 2013

Finding value at Professor Restuccia's class

It's always a pleasure to be invited to address BU Professor Joe Restuccia's graduate course, "Health Services Delivery: Strategies, Solutions, and Execution."  The syllabus is well constructed and the MBA students bring lots of perspectives because they are working in a variety of health care-related organizations.

In the section before my talk, the student teams were reporting on their conceptions of the value equation by identifying domains and examples of specific measures that represented quality, along with defining how to create reportable metrics on that dimension.

I have copied below a humorous depiction of the concept offered by student Steve LeBlanc.  The hoped-to-be-maximized numerator represents happy and healthy workers in a company.  The hope-to-be-minimized denominator represents people with long-term or chronic disease requiring large expenditures of funds and lost work time.

Steve works at InterSystems Corporation in Cambridge, MA, a company that seeks to enhance interoperability among the various electronic health record companies.  Hmm, seems like a good idea, particularly for those health systems that have bought systems that are designed with other views in mind.

It was unclear if Steve's beatific smile derived from his pleasure in drawing the value equation or was in anticipation of a post-class birthday celebration.  I suspect the latter.


Steve L said...

I believe it was from the mysterious guy in the corner snapping pictures of my masterpiece.

Thanks for joining us!

Istvan said...


Question to Steve: Are the workers happy and healthy before or after the doctor’s visit?

Also, a suggestion to the teams: “Outcome” instead of “Quality” in the numerator may reflect better that the health care services have longer-term results and consequences. The patient care does not end with finishing the surgery or the doctor’s visit. The value of healthcare is based on long processes and both near-term and long-term outcomes. The result of medical error is often recognized only a long time after the treatment.

Steve L said...


In this class exercise, our group was tasked to define 'Value' from the perspective of a particular group, in our case, employers offering health plans to their employees. The numerator 'Quality', in this case the "happy healthy worker", just meant that from the employers view, they want their employees to be in their best physical and mental health. So we talked about wellness benefits, gym memberships, flu shots, etc., offering services to employees that would better ensure a healthy lifestyle, along with flexible health plans that also serve to attract top talent.

Istvan said...


Thank you for the clarification.