Powered by the Mayo Clinic, an attempt at physical API

So instead of this convoluted, consuming, and confusing reform debate, how about something more fun and innovative?  President Obama (+ others, etc.) has routinely cited the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic as models for providing high quality, low cost care.  If they can do it, we ought to be able to learn from them, and roll that model out nationwide, the argument goes.  Well, this is America, and some (including the Mayo Clinic’s Health Policy Center) are (with merit) skeptical, but ignoring that for the moment…

Robin posted an interesting idea (with Noah providing further perspective) inspired by Starbucks most recent attempt to revitalize it’s once proud corporate image where non-branding becomes the branding.

Well, some people think that’s creepy.  Here’s Robin’s insightful take on what Starbucks should be doing instead:

What if Starbucks was offering up a Starbucks API—a set of hooks into a vast, efficient coffee shop support system with incredible economies of scale? You, the local coffee shop owner, simply plug in, and wham, your costs drop by thirty percent because you’re leveraging Starbucks’ insanely optimized supply chain. You can use as much or as little as you want.

The idea: create a “physical API (as Noah termed it, here’s a read-up on API if you’re unfamiliar)” of the Mayo Clinic or Cleveland Clinic. Copy their entire way of doing business and paste it into hospitals around the country.  In a nicely wrapped package deliver their systems for decision-making, integration, coordination, and expertise.  Include their human resources practices, innovation efforts, and technology.  Import their employment model, their bargaining power, and of course brand recognition.  This is a beta release so if anything is left out, it can be included in a later version.

Mix with water.  Implement.  Poof!  Great health care!

Just think about it, Local County Hospital, powered by the Mayo Clinic or Our Lady Health Care System, supported by the Cleveland Clinic; it’s a definite brand extender.

Joking aside, the idea in a (somewhat) more realistic form has some potential.  The two Clinics are very good at what they do (so are other health care systems around the country, for that matter) and widespread importation of  their business and medical practices which allow them to provide quality care at low costs to other delivery systems is an admirable goal.

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