Health Care Thoughts: Human Capital Edition
by Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt
Health Care Thoughts: Human Capital Edition
In the past six weeks I have talked to and with health care executives and practitioners from at least 40 states. All of the conversations have been interesting to say the least.
What I hear from the hospital and (integrated) health system levels is the combination of PPACA (Obamacare), economics, health finance, technology and assorted regulations are making health care incredibly complicated, which is driving an executive feeding frenzy as organizations try to staff up to cope with change and as executives see new opportunities for their careers.
This is not all for the good.
One of my former students is, IMHO, one of the top integrated-with-hospital physician group managers in the country. Her take?
“The biggest danger now to health care are 30-something MBAs who are career builders.”
And clinical human capital? Right now it is important but not as important as the executive career hustle.
Take away? Send your college-age children to study health care administration.
i remember nolan bushnell forty years ago commenting on the hard disc industry in silicon valley and complaining about “…the little mbas with their pocket calculators making whole sick industries…”
plus ca change. . .
Everyone is happy to litigate. Bills Gates once said, Help With Essay Writing ||Custom written Essays ||How To Write Essay ||Dissertation Writing Services UK ||Essay Writers UK ||University Essays Writing
The hospital where I work at, which is one of the largest teaching hospitals in the country, it’s typical for nurse managers to leave work by 3pm, despite the fact that the heaviest patient care and most of the interdepartmental conflicts and most of the patient/family complaints happen after 3pm and up until, say, 9pm. This should clearly indicate that the hospital has got too many nurse mangers to justify their overly light and cushy workload. So I find it amazing beyond belief that the hospital is adding assistant nurse managers to its payroll, who’ll be given bankers’ hours as well!
Why would the hospital take an already overly fat and unproductive management structure and make it even more fat and unproductive? My guess that this is largely due to the hospital being heavy subsidized by the federal government. You see this in the defense industry, now you’re now seeing it in the healthcare industry. In order words, military Keynesianism has spilled over into medical Keynesianism. Plus it doesn’t help that the hospital has never conducted a time-management study on its managerial personnel.
And I must say that we don’t need more hospital administrators, as “Tom” suggests that we do. What we do need is more hospital administrators who’ve got enough walking-around sense to know that the hospital has got too many layers of nursing management and not enough nurses actually caring for patients at the bedside. If hospital administrators are looking to cut out other unnecessary costs, they can start by getting rid the music therapy program and the massage therapy program. Patients listening to a so-called “music therapist” sing and play guitar to them, and having their back oiled and rubbed by a so-called “massage therapist” does nothing to improve their medical outcome or reduce their hospital stay.
Then significant cuts can be made in the hospital’s pastoral care department. Don’t get me wrong, a pastor is needed in hospital when patients take a turn for the worst or when they have just received a poor prognosis, especially when their own personal pastor isn’t around to give them spiritual support and guidance. But the truth is, despite what the faith-based fanatics will tell you, patients receiving pastoral care does nothing to improve their medical outcome or reduce their hospital stay.
Now if I were a bigwig in hospital administration, I would have never approved of putting a very expense five-star chief on the hospital payroll. But I, unlike most people in hospital administration, know that being good at cooking gourmet food is no guarantee of being good at cooking hospital food. Just because you are a good opera singer doesn’t automatically make you a good rock’n’roll singer. Hiring a top cafeteria chief, instead of a top gourmet chief, not only would have saved the hospital a lot of money, but their food would be much better tasting, resulting in far fewer patient complaints.
Once again, I blame a lot of hospital’s wasteful and inappropriate spending habits on the fact that it’s receiving a lot of subsidies from the federal government. But once the flow of these subsidies are reduced, and it’s only a matter of time before they are reduced, hopefully the hospital will have the good sense to cut fat rather than muscle from its workforce.
What kind of federal subsidies? Are you actually in a position to know those kinds of financial details?
For the past 30 years I have been convinced the hospitals are the poorest segment of the entire health care system.
Very poorly managed, may be too complicated to manage.
Some recent family experiences confirmed my beliefs.
This post become very useful for me.
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