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If Only Health Care Would Focus On This One Thing

Home/Healthcare News/If Only Health Care Would Focus On This One Thing

If Only Health Care Would Focus On This One Thing

by Gurpreet Dhaliwal | The Wall Street Journal | February 16, 2016

If Only Health Care Would Focus On This One Thing 

Sovereign Solutions Editor’s Note:

 Healthcare does not need to be difficult. It is actually rather simple; the problem resides in that far too many individuals have accepted false premises.

We do not need fancy, overly elaborate systems for healthcare.

In fact, per the featured article, only one thing really needs to be done well. Focus needs to be on what the healthcare CUSTOMER wants.

That’s it. And I would wager that, among some other things, customers desire SIMPLICITY in regards to healthcare procurement and payment. Drilling down even more, shouldn’t healthcare be like ANY OTHER market, bearing actual, comprehensible prices?

I will add to what the author of this short piece offered: not only do healthcare providers need to “narrow” their focus on the customers’ perspectives and needs and wants, if you will, but they should form absolutely positive habits based off of the biggest elephant in the room: the total lack of market PRICE DISCOVERY in healthcare services!

The included short video shows what is desperately needed in not only healthcare but in the world at large: EMPATHY.

Certainly, more focus on the actual underlying customer, the patient, is most important, as the author clearly demonstrates and makes known.

I would merely add that in order to do this and thereby embody and build upon natural human empathy more and more, people in the professions in particular need to adamantly reject the incredible degree that RUBE GOLDBERGS have cynically and symbiotically attached to healthcare delivery markets.

Really, with everything so complicated and so many resources, and one, namely time on part of healthcare professionals, being consumed by Rube Goldberg self-serving zero-sum gamed cynical projects, one can see how difficult it is to be able to develop and maintain, and exude empathy as well as understanding.

Simplicity and focus is what is needed. Where do we really see this in the prevailing healthcare markets in the US today? Perhaps the further complication and entrenchment of inefficient, costly, and inhuman systems is not so smart after all.



Health care’s “quadruple aim” calls for doing better with patients, quality, cost and clinicians. But when everything is important, then nothing is. To transform itself, health care needs to pick one aim as a so-called “keystone habit.”

In 1987, Paul O’Neill took over the struggling aluminum giant Alcoa  AA -3.08%. As a CEO, O’Neill should have pursued the same quadruple aim as health care – customers, quality, profits/costs and worker safety. But he didn’t. He perplexed Wall Street by doggedly prioritizing one goal: zero worker injuries. By the time he left Alcoa 13 years later, its market value had increased by $27 billion – and workers had a statistically higher risk of being injured doing taxes as an accountant than handling molten aluminum at Alcoa.

In his book, “The Power of Habit,” Charles Duhigg explains how O’Neill achieved extraordinary results in everything by focusing on one thing – a keystone habit. Every organization or industry has a habit or value that knowingly or unknowingly anchors all others. Transform that habit, and you have the potential to change other routines. For Alcoa, the keystone habit was worker safety.

In health care, our keystone habit should be taking the patient’s perspective. If we could develop the habit of always seeing health care from the perspective of the patient, we would have one guiding principle – not four – for the tough decisions and trade-offs that need to be made as we reform health care. How long should patients have to wait to make an appointment? It is worth investing in email communication systems with patients? If the response is governed by balancing patient experience, quality measurements, costs considerations and worker satisfaction, the answer gets complicated. If instead we habitually ask, “What do I want when I’m a patient?” the answer is clear.

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Do you have any objections, thoughts, concerns, or contributions? I REALLY WANT TO KNOW. Help me to make this a conversation!

Together we can map out better solutions and truly navigate clearer paths towards quality services, low prices, and better lives.

Oh! And as always, if you find this post useful, do me and so many others a huge favor. When it comes to this kind of information: share and share alike! Information is meant to be disseminated wide and far.

Sovereign Liberty Solutions

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By | 2017-03-27T22:08:25-04:00 February 22nd, 2016|Categories: Healthcare News|Tags: |0 Comments

About the Author:

My name is Matthew. I am founder of and manage Sovereign Liberty Solutions. I am a proponent of free, voluntary association and expression. I understand that there is no single exception or excuse to violate this with the initiation of force, fraud, and coercion. I welcome a genuine dialogue & seek information, news, analysis, and, of course, solutions, whether it be on the individual level or a more voluntary association [group] or even "national" one.

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