All You Need is Love

~John Lennon

John Lennon might be right; perhaps all we really do need is love. It’s a nice thought, but the perspective from my vantage point is different. I sit in the family room of a major Boston hospital as my wife undergoes cancer surgery. The atmosphere is surreal; florescent lights mix with the faint smell of industrial cleaners and averted eyes. Love is grand, but for me, I want tip-of-the-iceberg greatness, coupled with Best-in-Class healthcare for my loved ones, and for yours.

My recent article entitled What are Your Chances of Going to a Best-in-Class Hospital? speaks to the need for healthcare to strive for greatness. The stark reality of knowing that we have a better chance of being carted off by ambulance to a Laggard healthcare facility than to a top-performing one is dismal.

Healthcare organizations must summon up the gumption and commitment to achieve Best-in-Class status, because the need for a commitment to excellence and exacting expertise has arrived. It is beating at our door with a fury, and it will not be denied because greatness in healthcare is a requirement, not an option.

Wait — I know what you are thinking: aren’t we the envy of the world in healthcare? Perhaps, but things change quickly when we vote for the future with our dollars.

Long ago, we were the gold standard in the automotive industry — number one, but also the only game in town. Then along comes Japan, showing us a new greatness and a crushing paradigm shift: reliability in place of repairs, a “customer as God” philosophy, and pricing that stuns our obese and self-satisfied Motown. Detroit today stands in decomposition, both a testament and a prophecy. It foreshadows what happens when we fail to strive, and when we succumb to complacency and sloth, while believing that everything will work out just fine. (Barbara Ehrenreich book entitled, Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America is a must read on this subject.)

I write about healthcare as an outsider because it interests me and satisfies my clients. See Progressive Human Capital Management in 2016: A Healthcare Perspective for an overview of HCM best practices in the healthcare industry. I write about it, suddenly, today, as an insider. I now have personal sense of obligation and insight.

There are many healthcare organizations out there that are good, but the new world order demands more. Best-in-Class in healthcare can no longer be a direction; it can no longer be the result of a perfect storm coupled with opportunistic circumstances and luck. It is now a demand, because on this day in 2016, just being good is a very bad idea.

Learn how to make U.S. healthcare organizations great again, beginning with patient-facing staff, in my recent report.


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