Thursday, June 24, 2010

A hospital admission as a defect in the process of care

A short while ago, I had a conversation with a colleague who relayed his conversation with a hospital executive around business development, innovation and growth. Hence the comment "We are in survival mode here."

My colleague also brought up the point to this same executive that somewhere, a group of entrepreneurs was looking at the process of care and have come to the conclusion that a hospital admission is a defect in the process of care.

Now that one stopped me dead in my tracks. Think about it.

The hospital admission as a defect in the process of providing care.

An attitude, much often too common in hospital executive leadership that we are just trying to survive. This is sad really, when innovation, growth opportunities and new business development initiatives are being left on the table because hospital executives can't get out of the "we're just trying to survive" mentality. Yep, leave it to the Walgreens, CVS/Caremark and Walmarts of the world to figure it out. Hint, they already have.

If your just trying to survive today without looking for market opportunity and finding ways to be more consumer-focused, innovative and non-traditional in providing care, then you are not going to survive.

The hospital is no longer and really for a very long time now, has not been the center of the healthcare universe.

Hospital executives can't seem to get out of the 70s and 80s mentality of build another patient bed tower. That will fix the problem. Instead, their response if they were providing any leadership at all, would be to the physicians, senior team and Board of Directors, let's find new and innovative, non-traditional ways to deliver care.

Infusion centers, retail clinics, pharmaceutical advances, free-standing surgery centers and diagnostic clinics, remote monitoring, home health care, sub-acute services, discharge management to prevent readmissions, medical device technological advances and many other services when taken together, have the potential to so significantly change the way that healthcare is delivered, it will make the hospital admission of today, a defect in the process of care tomorrow.

Does that mean hospitals will go away? No, there are limits to this concept of the hospital as a defect in the process of care such as surgical procedures that can only be performed in a hospital, and emergencies requiring an ER will always be needed. But the rest of it, maybe not.

Unless hospital executives and their marketing and planning departments start seeing the forest from the trees, just trying to survive is leading them away from innovation, opportunity and growth at a time when others, with non-traditional entrepreneurial backgrounds, will relegate the hospital to a place in the care continuum where an admission is a defect in the process of care.

So, are you still just trying to survive?

You can reach me at 815-293-1471.

No comments: