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Showing posts from April, 2010

Mayo Clinic Remakes One Town's Health Care

"The first step in the project, Mayo officials say, was to study Austin (MN) and how citizens viewed and used healthcare.

“We wanted to really understand our customers” by using the same strategies companies like Apple Inc. employ to gauge shoppers, said Adam Rees, chief administrative officer at Austin Medical Center. “There are very few medical centers that try to understand how the community defines healthcare.”And of course understanding how the community defines health care is a useful starting point for improvement.

Learnings thus far include:
The number one reason people want to stay healthy is because someone else depends on them.The important role churches could play in social outreach.An impressive array of social service agencies don't communicate well with each other or the public.(From Thomas Lee and MedCity News.)

Retail Clinics Are Hot. Or Not.

Writing for HealthLeaders Media, Cheryl Clark discusses the role of retail clinics in a post-reform era.
"(According to) several studies, including ones done by RANDHealth and the University of Minnesota. "Doc-in-a-box" convenience down the street can play an important role enabling patients to get basic care— such as treatment for a sore throat—especially since family practitioners are in short supply..."Trends in retail health are not uniformly positive.  Two months after acquiring "The Little Clinics" chain, Kroger supermarkets closed 20 locations, citing poor financial performance and the need to "strengthen the business model (and) revisit expansion."  And as Clark's article makes clear, physician opposition to the concept remains vehement and organized.

For the hospitals and health systems pursuing a retail strategy, it's all about access to convenient, low-cost health services and building loyalty in new markets and customer segmen…

Gary Hamel Deconstructs Apple

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, author and strategist Gary Hamel deconstructs the mythology of Apple and Steve Jobs.  Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.  Time and again, observers of Apple's success sum it up in two words: "ecosystem" and "values."

Hamel askes his reader to compare Apple's values (left column) with those in a typical organization, maybe their own (right column.)

Be passionate....Be rational.
Lead, don’t follow....Be cautious.
Aim to surprise....Aim to satisfy.
Be unreasonable....Be practical.
Innovate incessantly....Innovate here and there.
Sweat the details.....Get it mostly right.
Think like an engineer, feel like an artist...Think like an engineer, feel like an accountant.

Does health care reward passion, innovation, artistry? 

How many health care organizations can say they're in the left column?  How would one recognize that organization?  What would working there feel like?  Would their customers notice or care?

In a recent editor…