Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2009

Andy Grove's Prescription For Health Care

From the NY Times, Intel's Andy Grove has a prescription for health care;
"Mr. Grove is focusing on the shortcomings in the medical innovation pipeline. “Why doesn’t technology give us medical treatments,” he asked, “that are better, faster, cheaper? A system that works, heaven forbid, like the chip world.”

"An answer, Mr. Grove says, lies in a concept called “translational medicine.” For years, the National Institutes of Health has been funding research projects into translational medicine, and definitions seem to vary. Mr. Grove, characteristically, offers a crisp one. “It’s the art of taking laboratory, one-off discoveries and putting them into mass production — in higher volume and at lower cost than previous treatments.”Health care needs more people like Andy Groves asking "What if...? Why not...?" and could stand to jettison most of the "Yes, but..." crowd.

Hospital Marketers Are In Deep Trouble Unless...

...they secure a permanent place at the leadership table.

Health marketing blogger Mike Krivich blogs about a recent interview with an unusually clueless hospital CEO. Said CEO was taken aback by Mike's insistence that marketing is more about strategy and measurable results than ads and newsletters.

Unfortunately there's a lot of that going around, making it tough to disagree with Mike's conclusion that hospital marketers are swimming upstream. Better, though, to find that out BEFORE you take the job!

So how does one obtain a place at the table, given that acting 'entitled' is unlikely to work?

How about not telling people what you can't or won't do for them? Instead, be positive and solutions-oriented - the go-to person for finding the opportunities lurking in every difficulty.

Appreciate effort as important, but understand that it's results that matter. Produce documentable, repeatable results. Share them widely, then remember that if what you did yes…

The Reason So Many People Get Lost In Thought?

It's unfamiliar territory, of course.

Today's NY Times reports that the health reform-related statements of many lawmakers were ghost-written by lobbyists and lawyers working for biotech firm Genentech. Oops.
"Genentech, a subsidiary of the Swiss drug giant Roche, estimates that 42 House members picked up some of its talking points — 22 Republicans and 20 Democrats, an unusual bipartisan coup (!!) for lobbyists."Of course Genentech sees "nothing nefarious" about their success, explaining that it happens all the time. They're right. It does happen all the time - over-reaching and stupidity trashing a message, I mean.

It's never been a good idea to let your hired guns do your thinking for you. And in today's environment of radical transparency - where such activity has no place to hide - it's downright embarrassing. At worst, it does your cause irreparable harm. And that's no "coup," bipartisan or otherwise.

If Your Service Was Great...

...please ring the bell. Talk about immediate feedback.

Hospitals need an "If your MEETING was great, please ring the bell!" sign in all conference rooms. Somehow, I doubt there'd be cause to worry about noise pollution.

(Sign seen in Arbys, Bolingbrook, IL)

"Raise Your Hand If You Love Your Cable Company"

Ha Ha. A question asked and answered, from David Houle's Evolution Shift blog. No hands raised but lots of laughter.

Yes, the cable industry is ripe for disintermediation, with its inexplicable, customer-unfriendly processes. The way it forces us to buy lots when all we want is a little. Good riddance. It would have happened a long time ago were the industry's franchises not protected by cadres of dimwitted local regulators.

But let's rephrase: "Raise your hand if you love your HOSPITAL." How many hands raised now? Maybe a few, but not many.

"They love us! They need us! We're irreplaceable!" Umm-hmm.

Hospital leaders had better start confronting the Napster generation's eagerness to junk business models unable (or unwilling) to offer immediate, just-in-time information, radical openness and transparency, and services bundled (or un-bundled as the case may be) in new and creative ways.

Disintermediation in health care? It's already beg…

Health Care Reform and Medical Innovation

Tune in on November 20th for The Cato Institute's Policy Forum "Bending the Productivity Curve: How Would Health Care "Reform" Affect Medical Innovation?"
"Featuring Raymond Raad, New York Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical Center, and Coauthor, "Bending the Productivity Curve: Why America Leads the World in Medical Innovation"; Gerard Anderson, Director, Center for Hospital Finance and Management, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health; and John E. Calfee, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute. Moderated by Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute, Coauthor of Healthy Competition: What's Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It."

"New research by the Cato Institute shows that America generates more medical innovations than any other country, and in some cases, more than all other countries combined. Medical innovation may be more important than covering the unins…

5 Marketing Megatrends

Coming to a brand near you, from Adam Kleinberg at iMedia Connection, here are "5 marketing megatrends you can't ignore."
Mass collaboration...Constant connectivity...Globalization...Pervasive distrust in big corporations...A global sense of urgency...#4 is, I think, under-appreciated in health care. Doctors and hospitals like to think of themselves as the last of the white hat-wearing good guys, and maybe they are. But trust is a funny thing - built over decades and lost overnight. Screw it up and watch the laser beam of populist rage move from Wall Street to Medical Avenue.

Dumb Luck: A Poor Substitute For Sound Strategy

And so the maddeningly mediocre Chicago Bears beat the woeful Cleveland Browns last Sunday. Big deal. Neither team could beat USC.

What's more interesting than the final score is Bears coach Lovie Smith's reaction to fan frustration with "da team's" performance. Paraphrasing Lovie, a win is a win is a win, no matter what.

He's wrong.

Sometimes it matters more HOW you win. Despite playing DOWN to the level of arguably the league's worst team, the Bears achieved victory when, in some mysterious combination, dumb luck met a mistake-prone opposition. Fine. It happens that way occasionally. Call it winning by drifting into it.

But drift shouldn't be confused with possessing some basic competence, or creating and executing an intelligent plan, game after game, against good teams and bad. Call it winning by design.

Just like changes in your own organization's opportunities and threats, the Bears' opposition changes next week - to a team with a cl…

Words To Live By

"If you have always done it that way, it's probably wrong." (Charles Kettering)

"If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less. (General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U. S. Army)