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Showing posts from July, 2009

"United Breaks Guitars'

From Chicago News: United Airlines' employees smash a guitar while passengers watch from the plane. Guitar's owner writes a song and posts a YouTube video. Said video is viewed nearly 650,000 times. Airline apologizes and uses video for "employee training" purposes.

What does it say when an airline needs to train its employees not to break stuff? Think about it next time you hear an airline executive complain about the industry's poor growth prospects.

And speaking of poor growth prospects, if your hospital occupies the lower quartiles of patient satisfaction results, you might want to prepare for the day a similar video spotlights your ER waiting times and execrable customer service. I can just imagine the humor, the pathos, the embarrassment...the desperate search for someone in Patient Relations to "fix" the problem.

Potter: Health Plan Profits Matter More Than Patient Health

Testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, former CIGNA executive Wendell Potter "...testified that large health insurers routinely and intentionally drop high-risk members. They also make coverage exclusions difficult for policy holders to understand and dramatically boost premium rates for small employers that have high claim costs, he asserted."

Responding to Potter's accusations, CIGNA mentioned the company's long support (emphasis mine) for a health care system that mandates insurance coverage for everyone at the same rates “regardless of whether or not the person has a pre-existing illness.”

Who are they kidding? And since when does acknowledging some new post-election realities constitute "long support?"

Find a pdf of Potter's full testimony here.

NY Times: "A Doctor by Choice, a Businessman by Necessity"

In ways subtle and overt, medical professionals are encouraged act like businesses. And so they do, sometimes realizing too late the difficult bargain they've struck.

Writing in the NY Times, Dr. Sandeep Jauhar expresses the dilemma:
"...the consequences of this commercial consciousness are troubling. Among my colleagues I sense an emotional emptiness created by the relentless consideration of money. Most doctors went into medicine for intellectual stimulation or the desire to develop relationships with patients, not to maximize income. There is a palpable sense of grieving. We strove for so long, made so many sacrifices, and for what? In the end, for many, the job has become only that — a job."Most problematic, I believe, is the fact that a sense of "commercial consciousness" is no longer optional if obligations like student loans and payrolls are to be met. It's now the price of admission, a necessary requisite for professional and financial survival. …

Thanks For Reading and Lurking

'Thanks for reading' to organizations showing up here in the last day or so:
Episcopal Health ServicesApple ComputerFlorida HospitalThomson FinancialUniversity of PhoenixLoma Linda University Medical CenterAuburn UniversityKaiser PermanenteVisible TechnologiesFleishman HillardBristol Myers SquibbJohns HopkinsUniversity of Nebraska Medical CenterCourtesy of Statcounter's domain tracking stats, I know I've got readers and lurkers. Now what I'd like is commenters. Argue with me. Tell me I'm full of it. It's certainly not out of the question.

Regional Innovation Conference Addresses Economic Recovery Issues

Last Friday, I attended a conference sponsored by Purdue University on using innovation and regional partnerships to drive regional economic development. Richard C. Longworth, author of "Caught in the Middle: America's Heartland in the Age of Globalization" delivered the keynote address.

Longworth's basic message is '...the old days are gone and they're not coming back. So get on with the business of economic reinvention.' Tough to hear sometimes, but a necessary message for regions, organizations and individuals all to grasp.

Yours truly was interviewed for the South Bend Tribune's event coverage;
"Making this huge attitude change will require more than politicians working together, said conference attendee Steve Davis, an entrepreneur based in (Michigan.) It will require attracting young workers and venture capital to the Midwest, he said.

"Davis has two start-up businesses — one for individuals to gain online access to their medical record…

"We Just Discovered The Internet and Want The Whole World To Know!"

Glendale (CA) Adventist Medical Center offers its patients in-room web access and e-mail and finds the occasion worthy of a press release.

The hospital believes the service helps it "...stand out from competitors." They may be right, more's the pity.

In a connected world, consumers long-ago learned to expect "anytime, anywhere" connectivity. Even the lowliest coffee shops have been wired for years. So I fail to see how a hospital's quest for strategic separation is aided by ANNOUNCING such a belated entry to the modern world. More likely, they embarrass themselves with further proof (as if more proof was needed) of exactly how far behind the times they'd fallen.

What's next? A press release saying "...all rooms are now air conditioned?"

Yeah I know. I can hear the excuses. "You don't's a complicated issue...lots of things to worry, privacy, cost, support..." All true. And all misle…