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 […]

“That’s a great question! Thank you for asking.”

Who was it that said that hospital managers should always respond to questions, comments and other concerns or inquiries openly with a smile and an accepting manner? Something about low-tech, maybe? Something about scarves? …I wish I could remember. Anyway, Stanford has this thing–this way they teach their staff to communicate with patients, families and other staff members. They call it C-I-CARE, and its process […]

The “Old” Main Entrance of Stanford Hospital

The (soon-to-change) Main Entrance of Stanford Hospital

Surprisingly, Stanford Hospital has no atrium. There’s just an entry way and…well, that’s it. You’d think they have something flashy, no? But, over the next several years a large construction project will change that. Pretty soon there will be a new hospital with a new image that patients will enjoy for many years to come.

Welcome Bienvenido Bienvenue مرحبا ようこそ Willkommen 歡迎 ברוך הבא Zapraszamy

And so it begins–my summer in California interning at Stanford Hospital. I chose to write a blog because I figure it’ll be the best way to capture my thoughts and impressions of Stanford and California. To tell you the truth, this entire stream-of-consciousness typing is not something that comes easily. On one level I feel like Doogie Howser. On another I feel like a self-absorbed, […]