It's all a symptom of the bigger picture in my opinion.
Consider for a second: McDonald's.
Super giant of the fast food industry. The measuring stick of every other fast food franchise. Yet, how many of us really think what they are selling is good food?
It isn't good food. Not on any level. It's overly simplistic, unhealthy, cheaply made, processed and is generally just not that great tasting.
Yet somehow, year after year, they thrive and succeed in the business despite being horrible at the service they provide. It makes no sense what so ever. It's like a sports team who never wins drawing the most fans every year. How do they do this?
Simple. Their primary purpose is not good food. It's sales, business and profit. Marketing, convenience and a core knowledge of how to make impulse sales keeps them ahead in the industry...........not good food. Hence, the majority of their leadership is business oriented, not culinary. I don't know any chefs who work for McDonald's in any capacity. I'm sure they have plenty of MBS grads in their administration though. (Actually, I'm willing to bet its primarily MBS graduates).
The healthcare industry so desperately wants to be McDonald's.
But it does not work in our industry. Never will. I've spoken at length about why the "business" and customer service model doesn't suit the healthcare industry.
So, we end up with a healthcare industry that is lead mostly (primarily) by business oriented minds and......................
The outcome is very different for us. The flaws in our leadership and the decisions they make are exposed on a daily basis.
Anyone at this point in time care to recall the nursing homes who were shutting off hot water on weekends to save money during the recession? That's just one of a million examples of how our administration and the leadership in healthcare drags us down.
Hard to soar like an eagle when you're chained to a bunch of turkeys.
Speaking of the recession, at that point in time more than any other, a light was shined in the weaknesses of healthcare administration.
Everyone was suffering with low census and having trouble making ends meet financially and no one had an answer for it. They couldn't remedy the problem because they only knew business. They didn't know how to solve any of the healthcare delivery problems they were facing.
So, ER wait times skyrocketed, return admissions numbers went through the roof, patient satisfaction scores plummeted and their solution was to...........
...............increase the price of flowers in the gift shop to hopefully make up the difference in lost profit.
For McDonald's that style of management is fine. Healthcare requires more than that.
McDonald's thrives despite it's goal NOT being good food. The healthcare industry can not mimic this approach and succeed when it's focus is anything other than good healthcare delivery.
To remedy the issues the former patient talked about in his letter, you need better leadership. Until the healthcare industry stops trying to be like McDonald's, problems like the ones he addressed will continue.