Archive for December, 2009
In my 26+ years of practicing internal medicine, a constant thorn in my side in hospital work was the odious task (or so it seemed) of completing a discharge summary upon dismissal of a patient from the hospital. The patient was better, the work had been done, the discharge instructions provided to the patient, or so I thought, and yet, I now had to sit down, and go through the chart, summarizing the hospital episode of care, reiterating many of the facts already present in the existing record.
“If you are not confused, you don’t know what’s going on.” Jack Welch
“My life has been filled with misfortune, most of which never occurred.” Mark Twain
Anyone charged with planning for the future of a hospital, medical practice, health plan, pharmaceutical or medical device organization should resonate with the above two wise sayings. If you don’t, you have just not been paying attention. I am as confused and disoriented as anyone in the industry.
Ignatz had it right, and we’re all the better for it. I’m referring of course to the legendary Ignatz Semmelweiss. Briefly, in the early 1800’s, the death rate of post partum women from what was called puerperal fever was horrific. The death rate of women in the hospital after delivery was actually higher than those who delivered at home, or perhaps even worse than if they delivered in a barn. Now there’s an attractive marketing tag for a hospital system—“Deliver here, death is right around the corner.”
One of my housemates posted the following by the kitchen: “There are no enemies anywhere.” Every morning when I see it, I shake my head and wonder how come I live in a different world. I do think we should assume positive intent, until proven otherwise, and we at ICSI have made that commitment in our work on health care reform. I was reminded of the saying by the kitchen when I retweeted the following this Saturday: “How the world does not work RT @Lissarankin #MojoTip