Thinking Differently to Change Healthcare

To all those looking to lead healthcare differently–

  • …to include and honor the voice of patients
  • …to ensure healthcare professionals are allowed to be open and honest with patients, and one another
  • …to honor a culture of safety above all else, and;
  • …to adopt wearables and other new technology that allow patients to better monitor and manage their own health

–here’s to the crazy ones.

And finally, another great “Jobism” from his oft quoted graduation speech at Stanford University, three years before his death:

“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”


People With Passion Changing Healthcare for the Better

I recently watched the film, Jobs, a biopic based on the life of Steve Jobs, Apple Computer Cofounder, Chairman and CEO. Jobs and partner, Steve Wozniak, started the legendary company in his garage in 1976 in what ultimately resulted in one of, if not, the greatest changes to the landscape of personal computing and digital content development to date. Jobs’ vision and passion for creating technology that would extend the vision and passion of every one of us, never wavered even though he was challenged countless times by doubters with limited vision themselves.

So the story goes, Jobs was told by his Board, “people aren’t going to want a personal computer,” and he ultimately was fired from his own company in 1985, and then later rehired in what many call one of the greatest company turnarounds. Throughout the ups and downs of his career, Jobs remained passionate about the need to deliver the highest quality technology products directly to consumers, putting the ability to create just about anything in the homes of users. Thanks to Jobs passion, stubbornness and entrepreneurial spirit we now have the iMac, iPod, iPad, iTunes, iPhone…the list goes on…and ways in which consumers use each device continues to expand in direct proportion to the freedom given to the imagination.

Healthcare is adopting the devices created by Jobs and his Apple teams at the frontline of care in many places–places where visionary healthcare leadership is too passionate to hear the fearful naysayers that impede the progress we all know also prevents zero preventable harm and returns joy and meaning to the healthcare workplace. In the following clip from the Jobs film, actor Ashton Kutcher delivers the inspirational lines below. Whether Jobs actually said these exact words or not, he has said much that echoes similar sentiment. Those working to influence much needed change in healthcare can draw strength from the dialogue when faced with doubters of our own. To find like-minded healthcare colleagues, be sure to check out ChangeDayUSA!

You got to have a problem you want to solve, a wrong that you want to right. And it’s got to be something you are passionate about, otherwise you won’t have the perseverance to see it through…And in your life, you only get to do so many things, and right now, we’ve chosen to do this. So let’s make it great.

 


Healthcare Transparency As A Blockbuster Drug

“If transparency were a medication, it would be a blockbuster, with billions of dollars in sales and accolades the world over. While it is crucial to be mindful of the obstacles to transparency and the tensions—and the fact that many stakeholders benefit from our current largely nontransparent system—our review convinces us that a health care system that embraces transparency across the four domains will be one that produces safer care, better outcomes, and more trust among all of the involved parties. Notwithstanding the potential rewards, making this happen will depend on powerful, courageous leadership and an underlying culture of safety.”

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 10.35.49 PMThe previous paragraph comes from the fifth and final National Patient Safety Foundation’s Lucian Leape Institute (LLI) White Paper entitled, “Shining a Light: Safer Health Care through Transparency”. Each of the five white papers address key issues that healthcare stakeholders will need to successfully manage if healthcare is to achieve zero preventable harm. I was honored to be part of the panel that helped create this paper and the 39 recommendations for greater transparency throughout healthcare.

Defining transparency as “the free, uninhibited flow of information that is open to the scrutiny of others”, the paper provides recommendations in four different domains of transparency:

  1. Transparency between clinicians and patients (illustrated by disclosure after medical errors)
  2. Transparency among clinicians themselves (illustrated by peer review and other mechanisms to share information within health care delivery organizations)
  3. Transparency of health care organizations with one another (illustrated by regional or national collaboratives)
  4. Transparency of both clinicians and organizations with the public (illustrated by public reporting of quality and safety data)

I encourage everyone to visit the LLI website and download the White Paper (click here for a copy). Increased transparency is critical to any Patient Safety mission. Greater transparency throughout the system is not only ethically correct, but will lead to improved outcomes, fewer errors, more satisfied patients, and lower costs.