- App Portal
Management of Hospitals Reveals Shift in Health Investment Strategies
Submitted by The EXchange Edit... on Fri, 09/09/2011 - 11:19
The management of hospitals is not meant for the meek or timid (or the faint of heart, however the good news is you have plenty of doctors around if your heart does have trouble!) and requires one to have seriously thick skin.
With a virtual mine field of daily liability, the management of hospitals requires quick assessments and high-risk decision making skill to mitigating life and death scenarios. Imagine a work environment with bleeding, unconscious people streaming in the back door, seriously ill elderly people laying about in beds needing help, infants and pregnant mothers and families waiting for days to give birth and other indescribable scenes…one begins to wonder why someone would choose to go into this business, but the need is great and call is heard by only a few.
Of course these are the business but management of hospitals is more than a mere “service industry.” Being a healthcare executive is part Miracle Worker part hard driving, ass-kicking entrepreneur. Like Gandhi with a car wash, you need to keep the machine moving but still care enough about the outcomes to keep the waters blessed. In a typical business the ‘customer’ (also known as a Patient) can shop around and look at comparisons to make a purchase decision. With healthcare the ‘product’ is intangible, yet quality of delivery can grossly determine the outcome. Usually time constraints (I’m in PAIN!) make long purchase cycles impossible, and often an ambulance ride adds drama to otherwise super time sensitive decision making. Any delays while having a heart attack or stroke can be fatal. In that situation there is no time to say to the ED doctor “I think I’d like to shop around a bit to find a cheaper heart surgeon to do the open heart surgery on me…I’ll get back to you next week after I compare prices with my wife.” This idea could cost you your life. So, delivering healthcare is a different animal than most businesses. If we can turn the conversation and position healthcare debate as more of an investment and not a purchase the national debate could be moved in a more proactive direction. The idea that you are born with a ‘wealth’ of health and over time, simply due to life, you gradually lose that investment unless FURTHER investments are made to secure your heath equilibrium -- which every doctor recognizes as the ‘source’ of a ‘healthy human.’
With a monetary investment you can look at things coolly and rationally to make a decision and the ‘returns’ can be gauged as short term and long term gains. Because the term “investment” implies inherent risk and the need for patients in seeing a result, it sets the expectation properly. You don’t purchase your health, you invest in you health. By removing the complex aspects out of the decision making process and properly calling it exactly what it is -- a Health Investment -- as a concept could be moved forward as part of the national conversation regarding healthcare reform. By exercising you lower your risk and add value to you health investment. By seeing your GP and having regular checkups you lower the risk of losing your investment in health. By eating right and adding safer behavior in your life you’ve made a further investment in prolonging your life…and healthy living is critical to a happy long life.
With hospital management shifting the emphasis on hospitals and doctors by focusing and regarding Quality Care, the investment in health is the only direction the industry can go. A health investment creates the proper platform to have a conversation between patient and doctor to determine exactly what the patient would consider and happy and successful outcome.
An Investment in your health is a wise choice and many hospitals and doctors are beginning to position the conversation in these terms. The management of hospital has many challenges ahead to continue to shift the healthcare industry from a reactive model, to a proactive, quality model.