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 0-17 year-olds and 18-64 year-olds in our population will be […]

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 done enough to appreciate the cost issue. Aside from the […]

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 who don’t know, EPIC is an EMR database (electronic medical […]

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 time disordered states are significantly more probable than ordered states. […]

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 smile passing by, the smallest human interaction has to ability […]

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 make employees the actors and originators of transformation. What this […]

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 go on providing the service for a number of years. […]

The Trouble with Change

It’s too bad President Obama isn’t for hire. I tell you–getting people to change their ways is tough! How did he get so many people to follow him so easily? It’s almost unnatural. Usually, getting people to change their ways is like pulling teeth; no one wants to change until it’s absolutely necessary (e.g., when their job/general well-being is on the line). But why is […]

On Professional Development

When you’re developing your professional self, you make the effort to attend networking events. When you attend these events other attendees tend to ask you about the plans for your future. To their questions, you often respond with a general structure that outlines where you see yourself in five, ten, fifteen or whatever number of years. You’re content with this answer; so is the person […]

T-minus 9…8…7…6… .

Friday capped off my first full week of work. I am now 10% completed with my internship and have only 9 weeks left.  It didn’t hit me how short the summer is until one of my co-workers mentioned it in passing. “Nine more weeks remaining, James.” …Wow, I need to start producing. In support, though, the first week doesn’t really define the entire internship experience–it’s an […]