Monday, June 3, 2013

Why Do We Think the Way We Do in Health Care? - Part 1

By Pascal Dennis

A mystery, no?

Health Care workers are arguably the best trained & capable in all of industry.

Often, they are heroic, saving patients from broken management systems.

But, as a rule, Health Care organizations tend to be tightly controlled from "on high."


Individual initiative & enterprise is frowned upon.

"White coat management", to use Dr. John Toussaint's vivid phrase, dominates.

By contrast, great manufacturing companies work hard at engaging everybody, especially front line employees.

They recognize that intellectual capital is as important as physical & financial capital.

(To be fair, not all manufacturers are so. Brutal top-down control, sadly, is prevalent in younger industries like contract electronics manufacturing.)

But why does such thinking predominate in our hospitals?

In upcoming blogs, I'll share my thoughts.

My late father-in-law, the great Dr. Robert Guselle, ran Ontario's biggest clinic & shared many insights with me.

"Hospitals tend to be run by docs - for docs...," he told me.

And docs, Dr. Guselle went on to explain, spend a decade in a strange, hermetically sealed environment called medical school & residency.

There, they learn to be autocratic.

Any other reasons?

Looking forward to hearing ya'll's thinking.

Best,

Pascal

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