Time for hospitals and their leaders to listen and learn from others

Paul Levy very kindly posted a video on his blog “Not Running a Hospital” that was prepared by the Beryl Institute. I have enjoyed the perspectives, feedback, and conversation that this has generated. Thanks Paul and thank you to Jason Wolf and colleagues at the Beryl Institute.

Some of the feedback I have received got me noodling a question that a friend and I grappled with over lunch last week. My friend and I share a background in the hotel business, and find ourselves having similar conversations on an increasingly frequent basis…

Why is it that when it is suggested that we look outside of the broken, over-worked, stressed, highly unreliable and wildly expensive system that we call healthcare (btw; the ultimate oxymoron), that we so quickly find all the ways that we are “different” from every other industry or business.

Even within healthcare we rush to say how different we are from one another. “…our patients are sicker, our payor mix is different, and our population is more expensive to care for…”

We really have to stop doing this, because quite fankly it”s not true. In fact, I’ll go as far as saying that I believe we’re lying to oursleves. I challenge us to contemplate what “yes” might look like, before we rush to “no”. How we’ve always done what we have always done, is clearly not working…

There is much to learn, and there are many willing to share.

There are a growing number of examples where hospitals, health systems, and their leaders (Dave Mayer MD at MedStar), that have embraced some of these concepts, have started a daily (EVERY day) “pre meal”… (“safety huddle” is the term we’d use in a hospital), have begun to put a line in the sand and “not blink” in regard to poor, unprofessional behavior, and have begun to learn and improve in similar ways as the military, aviation, nuclear power plants, and yes, in similar ways as many hotels…

And we’re just scratching the surface.


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