An article in the February 2011 edition of HealthLeaders Magazine suggested that there is a disconnect in the way top healthcare leaders view themselves and their organization compared to the rest of health care.
After reading the article I was surprised by some of the findings. Many senior leaders don’t blame themselves or the people they work with for healthcare’s problems. It’s well documented that healthcare costs continue to rise at an alarming rate, there is gross overutilization of services, and quality needs to improve but it seems many hospital leaders believe others are to blame for these problems and these problems do not exist in their organizations.
The article pointed out that 75% of the respondents felt like their organization was on the right track but only 23% felt like the healthcare industry was on the right track. An even better example is that 81% think their organization’s medical quality was strong or very strong.
To me it’s shortsighted for so many respondents to believe that the quality of healthcare services provided by their organization to be strong or very strong. Most hospitals participate in ORYX and other national benchmarks that measure quality and outcomes and while a number of hospitals are in the top 25% its simple math to know that 75% are not. Furthermore, how can you think your hospital is on the right track and at the same time believe the industry in which you operate is not?
It’s human nature to some degree to think that someone else is responsible for a problem, after all, we all work hard and do the best we can to be sure we are providing excellent care to our patients but its obvious to me that not everyone is doing as well as they might think.
Healthcare reform was the topic of conversation at many dinner parties last year and as congress looks to repeal healthcare reform legislation it will be the topic of many conversations to come. To me, healthcare reform isn’t the solution, the solution is perception reform.
Hospital leaders have to acknowledge that we are part of the problem, until we do, we can never be part of the solution.