Plea: Pursue Perfection

A collection of collections from across the internet, health care related, during the previous week, and worth reading/viewing/listening.

Dr. Atul Gawande admits to medicine’s role in our economic troubles and praises the power of positive deviancy to rectify the situation / some high-powered, done it right CEOs offer ideas to reform health care (ideas that even have teeth; e.g., “Regionalize high-cost, resource-intensive services under Medicare.”) / hospitals (taking a cue from the airlines?) start to nickel and dime passen…err, patients

the folks at my health innovation are doing cool things: sharing low-cost low-tech ideas / on the more high-tech side, this car knows when you’re having a stroke / the ten most creative people in health care / we could all be more creative if we were just willing to fail a little more often / health care at the mall is not new, but Mayo at Mall of America is most likely not an excess space filler

lots of ideas for solving problems / here’s an action: in a brilliant move, GE is helping hospitals make health IT purchases through no interest loans / medical errors, design, calls to action: fuzzy medical error math shouldn’t make you feel better about an overnight stay in a hospital / here’s a plea: pursue perfection

AND/OR/PS: Little Red Riding Hood could have had health care troubles / was there obesity in antiquity? / in the spirit of transparency

Plea: Simplicity Please

A collection of collections from across the internet, health care related, during the previous week, and worth reading/viewing/listening.

a hospital locked out nurses after their union failed to withdraw a strike notification, that’s how the process works / patient-centered care champion Don Berwick wrote an article / here’s a related interview / and a rebuttal / it may not represent both sides of the lengthy spectrum, but it’s the two most rational endpoints / is your service this good? / why are men uncomfortable going to the doctor? / the Brits are in the midst of National Men’s Health Week, the 2009 edition focuses on access to services

economic side-effect: the number of Harvard graduates entering the health care industry doubled in 2009 / hopefully they’re into solving problems / action is preferred to planning, since very few of us are any good at the latter (the “planning fallacy”) / mostly because we don’t consider this / and we’re too detail oriented; so read the second half of this and be a better planner

it would be cool if discharge instructions were similar to BOFA’s Clarity Commitment / a lack of simplicity is likely due, in part, to the monstrous size of organizations involved / yes it’s difficult, but extremely powerful / here’s another (simple) plea: simplicity please

AND/OR/PS: 20% of Americans have peed in the pool, that can’t be healthy

Plea: Commit to Simplicity!

A collection of collections from across the internet, health care related, during the previous week, and worth reading/viewing/listening.

Hippocratic-type oath for health care managers? / improved (has it even started?) hospital board trustee certification (education) would be good, too / knowing the operation would improve the “double down” conversation

search, like Wolfram Alpha, is going to do some great things for the practice of medicine / so will Google Wave for the art of communication in health care setting, enjoy the preview, Dr. Jay gets it, a few more resources / something like Get Satisfaction would be neat in health care, let an organization’s best patients share what they know

keep on an eye on the Innovation Learning Network, a community of innovative hospitals sharing with each other / do CEOs matter? / what is this failure-of-hospital-management apologist talking about? / speaking of failure, evidently there’s been an abundance of it in innovation during the last decade and health/medicine/science seems to be the culprit / real-time decision making should be a goal, especially in the world of health care bureaucracy

these folks mapped the most secretive country in the world, imagine what they can do/will do/are doing in your hospital / omnipresent: transparency, embrace it, period / here’s a solution to rising costs: elder care abroad / since more people may need government assistance

unrelenting improvement of the workforce should be the raison d’etre of an organization / doctors spend time on paperwork, shouldn’t they? / analysis of the original hawthorne effect study uncovers a lessening effect / improve your hiring process, ignore the interview /

at least one person likes the new building trend of single bed hospital rooms / the NHS is preparing for a female majority doctorforce / figuring out insurance benefits is extremely complex, though don’t place all the blame on the payers / it seems a commitment to simplicity would be a strategic advantage / actually here’s a plea: commit to simplicity!

AND/OR/POSTSCRIPT: God gets his health care at Mayo / Doogie Howser’s journal is now in blog format / health insurers own stock in Big Tobacco

Catching up…

Blogging has slowed while on vacation but reading hasn’t; sharing good stuff is always a priority.  So I’ll try a Noah Brier inspired linkdump since I’m in the throes of another rain-soaked Germany day.

Remember flattening the health care organization?  Well a one-man software company has committed to becoming a completely open company.  It’s a very interesting read (the comments, too) with some potential health care lessons.  This may be the most important:

It used to be hard to imagine that anything serious could be build without the creation of large hierarchical organizations. But if one thing has really been shown in these recent years, it is that self-organizing groups in many cases can outperform traditional organizations.


Wouldn’t it be cool to present a cool idea at TED some day?  Well, here may be an opportunity akin to the minor leagues: TEDx—an independently organized TED-style conference.  From the website:

In the spirit of “Ideas Worth Spreading,” TEDx is a program that enables schools, businesses, libraries or just groups of friends to enjoy a TED-like experience through events they themselves organize, design and host. We’re supporting approved organizers by offering a free toolset that includes detailed advice, the right to use recorded TEDTalks, promotion on our site, connection to other organizers, and a little piece of our brand in the form of the TEDx label.

In another TED-related link, this conference (via Berci) has the potential to be zen-like.  Although the cost may prohibit some (most? maybe that’s where TEDx comes in…) who truly need to be there from going, it’s down the right road.


Wayne Smith needs your help (via Good Community Blog) in finding an organization to partner with to start a giving program through HSAs:

Basically, this is a social business model. The idea allows people to give small amounts of their pretax paycheck each week to pay for others’ health care without any incurred risk and by bypassing government channels. It is privatized health care philanthropy administered on an individual payout basis.

0.1% (or some other small amount) will be the default giving level. Members of the HSA will be signed up automatically and informed that they may choose to opt-out or increase their giving. The objective is to set the default option low enough that people will not be motivated to opt-out. There is also the opportunity to allow individuals to donate the balance of their HSA to the program at the end of the year (potential default option), and to the program as the beneficiary upon an individual’s death (another potential default). The idea may also be able to leverage the Cass & Sunstein idea of Give More Tomorrow, since the contributions will be withdrawn from pretax individuals’ pay.


My vision of a truly useful personal health record.


So Ohio State is giving medical students the use of an iPod Touch/iPhone.  Maybe EHRs will truly be embraced by the health care establishment when they make providing care easier (i.e., handheld devices helping provide care); another step in that direction reported by PSFK:

But two new devices for the new iPhone OS demonstrate just how the iPhone is going to make monitoring your health both more immediate and interactive. One app can control a blood-pressure cuff that plugs in to your iPhone, and Johnson & Johnson revealed a similar app and device that tests blood glucose levels.

In: Read This

Some links, from last week, for your reading pleasure this week.

MinnPost, a non-profit online publication, profiles (and debunks) Minnesota’s uninsured population.  Quite interesting, not at all what I thought.

There’s a country more obese than the United States: Australia.  PSFK reports on the government’s response involving measuring tapes, the easy to remember phrase “green for lean, red for spread,” and $30 million.

The X PRIZE Foundation and WellPoint are offering a $10 million prize if you can improve quality and lower costs in American health care.  I’m a big fan of the idea, though I think a better approach would be to offer smaller prizes with specific desired outcomes.