News

Posted on October 27, 2012

THE COST DISEASE OR WHY HEALTHCARE COSTS DON’T FALL?

Computers get cheaper but healthcare doesn’t, observes William J. Baumol, professor emeritus at Princeton University. His book “The Cost Disease” (Yale University Press 2012) builds on this argument that he first put forward about 50 years ago with his collaborator, William Bowen. He remarks that labour-saving productivity improvements have reduced the cost of making products. […]

Posted on October 9, 2012

UNDERSTANDING OBAMACARE:

According to J.D.Kleinke, resident fellow of the American Enterprise Institute ( NY times Sept 30 2012), the core drivers of the health care act are market principles formulated by conservative economists, designed to correct structural flaws in the US health insurance industry. Obamacare removes the biggest obstacles to the health insurance system like the absence […]

Posted on October 8, 2012

ODE TO STEVE JOBS:

PRESS TO LISTEN TO AUDIO Listen to audio (MP3) Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them. Disagree with them. […]

Posted on October 3, 2012

HERE IS THE SOLUTION TO CANADA’S HEALTHCARE COST CRISIS:

About 75% of the $250 billion in annual healthcare costs in Canada is from chronic diseases that can often be reversed or prevented by a healthy lifestyle. Putting money and effort into helping citizens make healthy decisions will reduce the total costs of medicare. Dean Ornish is a professor medicine at University of California, San […]

Posted on September 9, 2012

EMPATHY NEEDED HERE!

Empathy is a core emotional competence according to Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and former psychology writer for the New York Times.  Empathy is essential for a doctor or nurse or social worker to deliver quality service to patients. Here’s a CASE STUDY: A 59 year old male patient had lung cancer. It was present in […]

Posted on August 20, 2012

STANDARDIZATION IS NOT A BAD WORD IN HEALTHCARE:

Why would a Harvard neurosurgeon spend his spare time trying to understand how the Cheesecake Factory operates their kitchens. In the New Yorker magazine, writer and practicing neurosurgeon, Dr Atul Gawande marveled at how the Cheesecake Factory uses intelligent process design and standardized work flows to deliver consistently high quality food at reasonable cost. He […]

Posted on August 20, 2012

OUR HEALTH SYSTEM IS CHANGING- NOT!

I keep wondering why making changes in healthcare are so difficult. It can take up to 15 years to implement simple changes to care guidelines. When it comes to changing a healthcare system, there is much complexity and enormous inertia. To accelerate system wide changes that are win win, there is a need for enlightened healthcare […]

Posted on July 28, 2012

CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF THE MENTALLY ILL VS THE RIGHTS OF SOCIETY:

Case study: Several years ago, Luca Magnotta was found to have a mental illness while residing in Toronto. He was advised to take medications. He chose not to take them. He will likely be convicted of killing a young Montreal student. The Colorado Dark Knight shooter was receiving counselling for mental illness. He likely chose […]

Posted on July 23, 2012

PAUL PITCHFORD AT THE INSTITUTE OF TRADITIONAL MEDICINE IN TORONTO:

Paul Pitchford is a legend in traditional Chinese medicine. He is one of the few teachers whose training is pre-revolutionary. His 700 page book “Healing With Whole Foods” has sold over 500,000 copies. He practices what he preaches. He has been a vegan for 42 years. s used to help clients with complex health problems. […]

Posted on July 22, 2012

IMPROVING HEALTH SYSTEM QUALITY + EFFICIENCY WHILE CUTTING COSTS AT THE SAME TIME:

The native owned Southcentral foundation in Anchorage Alaska is responsible for the care for 55,000 enrollees. The foundation has an annual budget of $200M. It owns and manages a small hospital and has built a modern campus of outpatient clinics. The foundation won a Malcolm Baldrige award for excellent quality of care. The foundation has […]

Posted on July 22, 2012

TRAVEL HEALTH INSURANCE BUYERS BE AWARE!

Travel health insurance is a necessity. Don’t leave home without it. However, there are surprises in store if you need to use it to pay for medical services. Here’s a case study that illustrates the point. CASE STUDY: Sue is 62 years of age. She and her husband were vacationing in Florida when she developed […]

Posted on June 17, 2012

HIGH RELIABILITY ORGANIZATIONS (HROs):

High reliability organizations (HROs) are successful at containing errors before they become unmanageable disasters. Healthcare organizations need to copy their successful methods to protect patients. That is a big lesson that I learned from Karl Weick and Kathleen Sutcliffe from their excellent book, Managing The Unexpected, 2007. Here’s why: One of RCM’s clients had been misdiagnosed […]

Posted on June 10, 2012

ADAPTIVE CASE MANAGEMENT; WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO THE PATIENT?

Case management is a poorly understood term.  We are case managers and have looked for another word for years to describe what we do but can’t find one. According to the formal definition: case management is a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation, care coordination, evaluation, and advocacy for options and services to meet an […]

Posted on May 6, 2012

THE SKINNY ON PATIENT SAFETY:

PRESS TO LISTEN TO AUDIO Listen to audio (MP3) Case study of patient safety: A woman was admitted to hospital for surgery. She had a mass involving her right kidney. The morning of her surgery, the resident came to see her. He said that they were going to remove both kidneys and then get her […]

Posted on April 15, 2012

TWO HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSORS ARE ON A MISSION!

This is not a secret mission. In fact, Robert Kaplan, the guru of activity based costing and Michael Porter, the guru of industrial strategy are very open about their mission to get healthcare organizations to count pennies properly. The problem with healthcare budgets, according to Kaplan and Porter as reported in the New York times, seems […]

Posted on April 8, 2012

PATIENT ADVOCACY- WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME?

PRESS TO LISTEN TO AUDIO Listen to audio (MP3) A patient advocate has to have the tenacity of a bull dog, a sharp and creative mind and the quick and practical resolve of our pilot-hero Captain “Sully” Sullenberger. Here’s a case showing you what I mean: Carrie is a 52 year old business owner living […]

Posted on March 17, 2012

FOR CARE AUDITS DONT CALL YOUR ACCOUNTANT:

PRESS TO LISTEN TO AUDIO Listen to audio (MP3) When a family is paying for care for a client with special needs delivered at home or in a residence , they may not understand if they are getting value for their money. RCM responds to this need by providing CARE AUDITS which involve a review of […]

Posted on March 11, 2012

VALUES BY DESIGN

Healthcare workers are driven by values that they are largely unaware of. This came to the fore while reading the New York times today. There was a brief article about Jacalyn E.S. Bennett and her company Bennett & Company which has been in business since 1984 making lingerie. The most striking part of the article […]

Posted on February 20, 2012

DESIGN THINKING + HOSPITAL COMPLAINTS:

There is nothing more frustrating than having a very sick family member in a hospital and not being given an opportunity to talk to members of the care team in order to understand what is happening. Here is a case study: Virginia had been in the intensive care unit for 9 weeks in respiratory (lung) […]

Posted on February 11, 2012

CONTINUITY OF CARE SHOULD BE THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT:

PRESS TO LISTEN TO AUDIO Listen to audio (MP3) Continuity of care is similar to a football team. If all the players do what they want, then there is chaos. If there is a plan, a quarterback providing leadership and co-ordination of the players, then there is a better chance of winning. Continuity of care […]

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