Sunday, February 09, 2014

מי יאתחל מחדש את הדסה?

"Who will reboot Hadassah?" asks Boaz Tamir, in an article published this weekend.  I'm going to summarize and paraphrase from a Google translation and my rudimentary Hebrew.  (Apologies in advance if I have missed subtleties.)

Boaz argues that continued statements from the government Health Minister and Finance Minister that "Hadassah cannot fail" and from the Hadassah Women's Zionist Organization of America that "the Hadassah Medical Center will continue to exist forever" contribute to illusion and deception rather than recovery. In particular, he argues that HWZOA has negligible ability to provide financial assistance, yet it countenances the preservation of an old organization with a corrupt management system and corporate governance.  The quotes above, he says, blur the senses and deny the radical action that is required to treat the root causes of the organization's troubles.

He believes that the current management's demands for a transfer of large sums of government assistance could turn out to be only "a heavy drug injection to administer the system for a few months."
He asks, "Who will break the cycle of denial and rejection and start to treat root causes?"

He faults a crescendo from a group of private care physicians at Hadassah which "seeks to preserve the chicken that lays the golden eggs." Other doctors are also being exploited by management to pressure the Treasury and thereby are also active partners in an effort to preserve the status quo. What is needed is to restructure by adjusting the organizational structure to focus on value to patients.

In a very pointed comment about the inequality of service based on the "class" of the patients, Boaz notes that:

Normal patients (those who are not Sharap patients (i.e, those with private insurance), "personnel", medical tourists, politicians or relatives) await transfer to  hospital departments for days in the overflowing and choked emergency room, exposed to contagious infections, and the stares of dozens of visitors who visit their loved ones. In the absence of an available nursing force, thousands wait weeks and months for elective surgery, at the cost of suffering and sometimes even unnecessary loss of life.  Meanwhile, thousands of dedicated workers, professional and loyal, are trapped helplessly in a system that fails to create value for its customers.

For two decades, the Board, management and the unions have denied the root problems and participated in creating organizational pathologies, with only symptomatic treatment using pain-relieving drugs. Containment efforts--denial and repression-- have failed. Hadassah has remained in place as a "dead man walking," living on an artificial respirator.

The leadership required at Hadassah must be real, not so-called "professional management" which operates out of an old-fashioned hierarchical management approach. Whoever wants to build the new Hadassah must begin a dialogue and lead the way to formulate a common way for all stakeholders.
Such leadership must have the courage and integrity to look at reality. It requires creating an open public debate with the understanding that, unless the old organizational structure is modified, you can not create a hopeful vision and inspiration and design processes to create value to patients and employees.  The new Hadassah leadership must demonstrates the wisdom required to reformulate, in common with all interested parties, the purpose of the medical center and, in so doing, create a reaction to harness and mobilize the workers and the Israeli public to support rebooting Hadassah.

1 comment:

Nancy Thomas said...

...and it can start at one"root" - which is all the local Hadassah groups - doing much good work and being supported by many philanthropic families in time, talent and treasure. Part of every agenda might be "how can we raise our voice about this?" - and to not be afraid of repercussions from the national to do so. Local dollars have gone to support the hospital, out of the state where the donor lives - it does call for accountability rather than myopic feelings that good was done. How much outrage came after the announcement of Hadassah improprieties with the Madoff scandal - keeping silent isn't the solution. Embarassing to local donors and supporters? Suredly. As with any large nonprofit, they are afraid of long term repercussions in dollars donated. We've seen the end result, however, of national orgs that hesitate - Red Cross, Komen Foundation, United Way. Hadassah can learn from their mistakes and not replicate them. They have the voice to do so.