Skip to main content

Docs (Or Maybe Nurses) In Charge

Bob Lutz attributes the auto industry's decline to the pervasive influence of 'bean counters' - MBAs who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.  From a review of his new book "Car Guys vs. Bean Counters:"
"The only time Apple ever lost the plot was when it put the M.B.A.s in charge. As long as college dropout Steve Jobs is in the driver's seat, customers (and shareholders) are happy. The reason is clearly the one Lutz puts forward in his book: 'Shoemakers should be run by shoe guys, and software firms by software guys.'"
And car companies by car guys and, dare we say, hospitals by health care guys and gals.  But which health care guys and gals, exactly?  We may know the answer to that thanks to Amanda Goodall PhD, a senior researcher at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany, and author of a study of top-performing health care organizations.

Goodall's research finds that top-performers are more likely to be led by a physician, not a 'professional' manager:
"...outstanding hospitals tend to be those run by somebody with a medical degree. I was surprised by the strength of the pattern. It seems that age-old conventions about having doctors in charge - currently an idea that is out of favor around the world - may turn out to have been right all along."
Can you name a truly great health care brand that's NOT physician-led?  Maybe a few, but not many. 

Car Guy Lutz doesn't write about health care, more's the pity, and no rules are universal.  I've known many wonderful, caring M.B.A.s and some breathtakingly stupid physicians.  But health care needs a few arrogant cranks like Lutz calling 'time out' on the bean counters.  Maybe I'll volunteer.

And were it up to me, I'd put the nurses in charge.

More:

Time: Driven Off the Road By M.B.A.s

Medical News Today: Physician Leadership In the Best Hospitals

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…