Art vs Industrialized Medical Complex

Post Written by Guest Blogger, Andy DeLaO

This weekend there was a Forbes article titled: “The Future of Hospitals Operations Resembles Air Traffic Control.” (thank you @EMRAnswers for sharing)

There is a misalignment between what the business leaders in the C-Suite of healthcare systems and hospitals are trying to build versus what the people, who at times are patients, are seeking.

The reality is that we, the people, living our daily lives outside of the industrialized medical complex, live in the “connection economy.”

The connection economy as explained by Seth Godin means that the internet is a connection machine. Today, anywhere in the world, a person with access to a phone or laptop and the internet can connect with anyone else in the world.

The physical barriers of land, sea, time, or language no longer exist. The disparity between the have and have-not’s in the world have been flattened by the access to information.

The harsh reality is that the connection economy enables endless choice, endless shelf space. It places a premium on attention and trust, both of which are not endless.

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Healthcare is an industry built on monetizing competency.

Build a factory, fill it with competent workers that can follow directions and orders, and produce average widgets. In healthcare terms:

Build hospitals, clinics, and networks. Fill them with highly trained doctors, nurses, and other clinicians, along with expensive medical technology, and produce a lot of average care.

Healthcare loves to scale mediocrity.

Healthcare has done its best to keep all of that information, data, and expertise behind the 4 walls. Whether an EMR, EHR, PACS, CPT Codes, ICD-10, Claims Forms, or peer reviewed journal articles, healthcare has worked to ensure barriers are in place to control information.

Control the information and competency and monetize.

What healthcare doesn’t understand is that the competency they monetize is flattening. It is becoming readily accessible. A prime example of the flattening of competency is the recent leakage of more than 18,000 academic papers from the journal of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. (article here) The flattening of information is only accelerating.

Today people have an endless choice in competent care providers and networks.

There is endless shelf space because people are no longer confined by time and distance to seek competent medical advice. A smart phone or laptop plus the internet allows people to connect to competent medical personnel instantaneously all over the globe.

No longer is competency something that the masses, the people, find valuable.

What people value is art.

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Humans want to connect with other people.

We want to know that we are not alone in the world. Even though we may want our choices to be delivered at the N of 1, we desire our stories to be heard, felt, and shared with other individuals.

We have a desire for things that are meaningful, important, and new. We seek the edges. We want to know that if we give you our time and attention that you will care enough to listen first, repeat second, and explain our options third.

Spend the TIME to earn our TRUST. Once we TRUST one another we can have a TRANSPARENT dialogue and you can help manage my TRANSITIONS throughout my life’s journey.

While healthcare leaders want to improve their revenues, operating plans, and margins for their industrial medical complexes by utilizing manufacturing methodologies, it only becomes a race to the bottom.

The problem with the race to the bottom is that you may win.

Healthcare leadership needs to focus on one simple imperative:

Address the needs of the people you serve to enable their wants

The healthcare leader(s) that deliver the above wins in the connection economy.

A hospital cockpit may bring more efficiency to scale more mediocrity; it doesn’t produce more art for the people you serve.

People want art. People will buy art.

When healthcare produces art in the form of health and care, people will give you their time and attention.

Connection is the win for us all.