Day 3: The Complete Top 10 Health Care Issues in 2011 List

Here are the final three items on my list of the top things I expect to see in health care over the next year. 

I will stop at 10.

Which are on your mind? (Please post your comments, or your top 10 list below.)

 Top 10 List, Day 3:

1. Fight Over Health Care Reform
2. Transparency. Moving Toward Reporting Performance & Outcomes in Health Care
3. Organized Physician Practices (Can You Say Accountable Care Organizations?)
4. Health Care Amenities
5. Recruitment, Retention and Engagement
6. Declining Revenues
7. Reduction in Cost per Unit Service

8. Looking for Solutions Outside of Our Industry
. Health care has been slow to adopt business practice changes that other industries have used to be internationally competitive. 

Industrial re-engineering, relentless process improvement and management transformation will increasingly be used in hospitals beyond the usual inventory and production functions.

Benchmarking of performance will become more focused on best in class, not best in industry. (Think of the service expectations set by an excellent hotel versus a traditional hospital).

Continue reading

Share Doc in the D:

Day 2: Top 10 List for 2011

The other day, I began my list for the Top 10 issues in health care that I expect to see in 2011.

Today, I’ve added four more items to my list, as well as included links to the items discussed on yesterday’s blog. Again, join in the discussion if you wish to add, delete or create a more specific list of your own.

Top 10 List, Day 2:

1. Fight Over Health Care Reform
2. Transparency: Moving Toward Reporting Performance & Outcomes in Health Care
3. Organized Physician Practices (Can You Say Accountable Care Organizations?)

4. Health Care Amenities. Hospitals and health care facilities are going to increase amenities and improve the service aspects of care. Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital is a great example of providing high-touch, healing surroundings with an emphasis on hiring employees who provide service anticipating patient and family needs.

Most of these amenities are not costly, but require a commitment to assure patient experience is every bit as good as the quality and safe of care provided.

Continue reading

Share Doc in the D:

Day 1: Top 10 Health Care Issues in 2011

Frequently I am asked to name some of the top things I expect to see in health care over the next year. 

I thought it might be a good starting point for me to start the list and see what you think. 

I have to say that my list will be biased related to the immediate issues that The Henry Ford Hospital faces, and I view the list as broadly related to health care. 

I’m going to begin posting my Top 10 for 2011 list today, and continue adding other items to the list throughout the rest of the week.

Join in if you wish to add, delete or create a more specific list of your own, such as the top discoveries or the top trends that you see.

Top 10 List: Day 1

1.     Fight Over Health Care Reform. The politics and positioning may be as interesting to watch as the Super Bowl, but the stakes for all are much higher. Increasing challenges will come from all arenas, including judicial challenges, leading to a possible Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of health reform.

The dominant issue looming is the continued high costs of health care and the national deficit concern. The outcome of health care reform will more likely be predicated on finances and health care expense, competing priorities with other social programs, and state budgets and entitlements.

Best advice on how to individually deal with health care reform: Commit to staying as healthy as possible. If you are a health care worker, commit to being a solution to the high cost of health care.

Continue reading

Share Doc in the D:

Behind the Scenes @ Henry Ford: Sterile Processing

Many are not aware of the enormous support provided behind the scenes at a major medical center such as Henry Ford Hospital.

Let’s take one area: sterile processing.

You may have different ideas about how such a large operation sterilizes equipment used for surgery and other procedures to ensure protection from contamination and infectious diseases.

Some may have a concept similar to what is used in a small facility, like a dentist’s office or even a barber shop, with multiple small sterilizing units.

Henry Ford Hospital’s central sterile supply department requires large amounts of high-pressure steam generated from a boiler room. This is what the steam intake valve looks like:

Sterile Processing Intake Valve

Continue reading

Share Doc in the D:

Reducing Door to Balloon Times

I recently attended a celebration for door-to-balloon time at Henry Ford Hospital.

It is a quality measure in the treatment of heart attacks, specifically an ST segment elevation myocardial infarction.

This particular form of heart attack has a high probability of destroying heart muscle, and leads to some of the direst of acute and chronic heart conditions.

Henry Ford Hospital Door to Balloon Team

The time interval measure starts when the patient arrives in the emergency department and ends when a cardiac catheterization wire, placed from the patient’s artery, crosses the blockage in the coronary artery.

This all sounds very technical, but it is easy to understand.

You are having a heart attack. The treatment is to quickly open the artery that is blocked. The technique used is by a heart catheter.

The longer it takes to open the artery, the more heart damage (“time is muscle”). And the more heart damage, the worse the patient does (“muscle is function”).

This measure is adopted as a core quality measure of how good a hospital performs in caring for heart patients.

Continue reading

Share Doc in the D: