Calling All Volunteer Directors and Managers

I had an experience the other day that made me re-think the importance of customer service as it relates to volunteer programs at healthcare organizations. The fact of the matter is this: many volunteer programs don’t teach the skills necessary to allow volunteers to competently interact with the customer at the point-of-service. Healthcare likely presents […]

Extinction of the Rural Practitioner

The changes taking shape in rural parts of our country are causing access issues for rural consumers. Not surprisingly, money is at the root of the problem. General practice physicians in rural areas just aren’t able to maintain the financially viable private practices they once were. Decreasing reimbursement rates are frustrating the private practice business […]

Our Aging Population, as A Trend in Healthcare

The US population is aging. Markets in the health care industry are changing as a result. People are getting older at a faster rate than children are being born. In fact, the present US birthrate is at its lowest level since 1920! According to the graph above, over the next forty years, the ratio of […]

Pointing Fingers is Costing U.S.

We’ve all heard it by now. We know that health care costs are increasing. We know that things will soon be “unsustainable” if our present health care practices continue. Interestingly, despite all the stimuli we receive through the mainstream media, it doesn’t appear that the US people care as much as they should. People haven’t […]

The Epic Task Ahead for Clinicians

“But a bulldozer will do the same thing in a fraction of the time. IT was like this—speeding up dramatically work that can be done by hand.” EPIC, the wonderful health informatics software that will revolutionalize health care, will be rolled-out in many of our Country’s top hospitals over the next few years. For those […]

Thermodynamics and Change Management

en·tro·py /ˈentrəpē/ (n.) Lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder. According to the Second Theory of Thermodynamics and the concept “Arrow of Time,” as one moves “forward” in time, the entropy of an isolated system — the combination of a subsystem under study and its surroundings — will increase. This means that over […]

Hospital Operations and My Love of Healthcare

I love healthcare. More specifically, though, I love hospital operations. Working in healthcare means that I go to work every morning looking to improve in someone’s life. No matter the role, the role of a healthcare worker positively affects the patient. The affect can be direct or attenuated, but from one-to-one care to the casual […]

Empowerment Isn’t The Easiest Thing to Achieve

On a very high level, my job in performance excellence is to assist hospital transformation projects that aim to spread Toyota Production System principles. Our overall goal is to create a Lean health care environment at Stanford Hospital. A big part of Lean is empowerment. Lean concepts strive to make whistleblowers of employees, and also […]

The [Only] Problem with Government Involvement

Let’s say that you offer a fee-for-service professional service. A large number of people, not everyone, want this service, so you cater to those who seek it out as they desire. Those who want this service care about its cost, as well as their continued access to it and the cost of that access. You […]