Healthcare: What Services Are We Not Good At Performing?

I received a great question from Ruth yesterday in response to my post: Most Technologically Advanced Hospital System.

Here it is: “My question then, and now, is why doesn’t each hospital decide where they will specialize, get together with the other hospitals, and share the cost of one piece of equipment in one hospital?”

It is my opinion that there are many reasons, but I’m going to focus on a few “bold” responses.

1. Hospitals want to be all things to all people to gain as much of the available dollars as possible.

2. In order to attract top talent and to keep that talent, hospitals feel that they need to have the latest and greatest technology.

3. Administrators are told by physicians if you build it, they will come.

4. Technology is easy to slap a pretty picture on a print ad, billboard, or a website and say because it’s new we are the best.

5. Administrators are focused on the bottom line and are trying to generate revenue with expanding services in the community.

However, this is all a bit ass backwards.

Think of the major CEO’s and leaders in other industries. Their first reaction is not to buy more technology, but rather what technology will compliment their core business. If it doesn’t add to the core business, then they begin to divest.

So why aren’t more healthcare CEO’s thinking about who is walking through the front door, what care it is they seek based on their diagnosis, and what services fulfill, compliment, and provide best in class?

Not everyone is going to be the best in cardiac care. Nor can everyone provide clinical pathways driven by a multidisciplinary care team for cancer. Not everyone can manage an entire population.

So why not collaborate with the other healthcare providers and ask one another, “What services aren’t we good at providing and who is?”

Then reach out and develop a real strategy that creates a win-win for both healthcare entities.

Less dollars spent in wasted technology that will never mature into best in class care.

Or more investment dollars in the core services you are already great at providing.

Most important, patients get a better story on how they have access to the best care close to home.

Let’s not make more bets, let’s make smarter bets.

And improved patient stories.


One response to “Healthcare: What Services Are We Not Good At Performing?

  1. Is it because of the rise of the ‘for profit’ hospital corporation? I remember back in the early days of my nursing career, hospitals were mostly community-supported. Then corporations began buying them out. And a corporation’s first duty is to the shareholder, not the customer.

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