Skip to main content

What Hospitals Need in 2011: Insurgents With Gumption!

Today, several related themes point the way to R&R - Resolutions and Revitalization - in 2011. 

First, Seth Godin contrasts status quo-destroying insurgents and committee-pleasing incumbents.  Says Godin,
"It takes guts to be an insurgent, and even though the asymmetrical nature of challenging the status quo is in their favor, often we find we're short on guts. ... and then the incumbents prevail."
So, resolution #1: More insurgents!

Second, Anthony Cirillo muses about hospitals staying relevant, given that many are ceding first mover status on key industry opportunities;
"Frankly I see little...progressive behavior from hospitals. It is easy to hide behind the "complexity" of hospitals and the "it's hard to turn a battleship on a dime" mentality. So we have business as 'fee for service' usual while others are progressively plowing ahead.
...

"There is no lack of gumption from those outside of the hospital arena. If Lowe's management can figure out why it makes sense to (send cardiac patients) to Cleveland Clinic, it is only a matter of time before others do the same calculating.

"Maybe hospitals are moving and changing--but just too slowly."
Thus resolution #2: More gumption!

Cirillo sees hospitals' changing roles being forced upon them by unmet challenges and unforeseen events, unexpected competition, untraditional ideas and their own fear.   My view is that, increasingly,  hospital admissions are seen as process defects elsewhere in the system, and insurgents see fortunes accruing to those correcting the defects.

Think about it.  How many things have to go wrong OUTSIDE of a hospital for an admission to occur?  And if the best, safest and cheapest length of stay is ZERO, well, fix the defects, cut off the admission before it happens.  The long-term threat to hospitals' business model ought to be clear.

So much for business as usual.  It's the end of deliberate, incremental change.  Insurgents are storming the ramparts.  Barbarians are at the gates. 

The real question is whether hospitals have sufficient gumption to think like insurgents, to mount their own strategy of counter-insurgency.  I'd like to think so.  I'd like to help.  But I'm afraid it's a question about which the jury is still out.  Stay tuned.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Becoming Consumer Friendly In Five Easy Steps...Or Not

An article at hhnmag.com offers hospitals 5 steps to becoming more consumer friendly.

If you still think there's a secret sauce to your hospital becoming more "consumer friendly," these 5 steps are as good a place to start as any.  Unfortunately, it's a little like that old Steve Martin comedy bit where he says he'll teach you how to be rich. The first step is to go find a million dollars.

Step 1 from the article is realizing that "...a Medicare beneficiary with chronic conditions is different from a young mom who brings her kids in for an annual check-up." This is market segmentation for beginners, and, yes, one size decidedly does not fit all. I'm sure your marketing team's been saying this for a while.

Steps 2-5: have a strategy, metrics, a champion and resources. OK. Hard to argue with any of those.

But those things, alone or together, won't overcome culture. They're important components to be sure, but insufficient without a …

My Take On Anthem-Cigna, Big Dumb Companies and the Executives Who Run Them

After last Friday's Appeals Court decision, Anthem's hostile takeover of, er, merger with Cigna has but a faint pulse. Good. Unplug the respirator. Cigna's figured it out but Anthem is like that late-late horror show where the corpse refuses to die. Meanwhile, 150 McKinsey consultants are on standby for post-merger "integration" support. I guess "no deal, no paycheck..." is powerfully motivating to keep the patient alive a while longer.

In court, Anthem argued that assembling a $54 billion behemoth is a necessary precondition to sparking all manner of wondrous innovations and delivering $2.4 billion in efficiencies. The basic argument appears to be "We need to double in size to grow a brain. And just imagine all those savings translating directly into lower premiums for employers and consumers." 

Stop. Read that paragraph again. Ignore the dubious "lower premiums" argument and focus on the deal's savings.

$2.4 billion saved from a p…

Another Day, Another App, Another Satisfied Customer

How might health care providers use technology to turn customers' mobile phones into information displays and ordering devices? A few years ago, the NY Times outlined how retailers are doing it...
"(Designer Norma) Kamali is at the forefront of a technological transformation coming to many of the nation’s retailers. They are determined to strengthen the link between their physical stores and the Web, and to use technology to make shopping easier for consumers and more lucrative for themselves.
...

Cisco Systems, the supplier of networking equipment and services for the Internet, is also a leader in the field. The company’s Mobile Concierge system is capable of connecting customers’ smartphones to retailers’ wireless networks — so a shopper could type “Cheez Whiz” into a cellphone, then pinpoint its location in the store." Ms. Kamali's boutique installed a technology called ScanLife, "allowing people to scan bar codes on merchandise and obtain details about the…