Code Red for the Healthcare System

President Obama implored lawmakers earlier this week to move quickly to fix the ailing U.S. healthcare system, describing the next couple of months as a “make-or-break” period for reform legislation. “We can’t afford to put this off,” the president said. In this edition of Drucker Apps, you’ll find tools that will help you understand why the cost of healthcare continues to skyrocket, why MDs need IT, how good management goes hand in hand with good medicine, and how nurses and nurse-practitioners should be better utilized. These insights—at once timely and timeless—are based on the ideas and ideals of the late Peter F. Drucker, the father of modern management.

Rx for high health costs

“The world-wide escalation of healthcare costs is the result, in large measure, of the hospital’s having become an economic monstrosity.”— Peter F. Drucker, The Ecological Vision

  • How increasing productivity can lead to decreased costs. Read more here.
  • Hear former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill discuss how people confuse healthcare “activity” with “productivity.”

Making the most of medical IT

“The relationship of a biochemist, a pharmacologist, the medical director in charge of clinical testing, and a marketing specialist in a pharmaceutical company…requires each party to take the fullest information responsibility.”— Peter F. Drucker, Classic Drucker

”The Coming of the New Organization“ reprinted by permission of Harvard Business School Press from Classic Drucker by Peter F. Drucker. Copyright ©2006 by the Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation: all rights reserved.

Why good management = good medicine

“To run such a large, complex institution as today’s physician’s practice or hospital requires effective control. If the people in charge do not know how to take control, they will be controlled by the institution.”— Peter F. Drucker, Executive Leadership in Healthcare

  • When healthcare professionals become “bureaucrats and clerks.” Read more here.
  • How to increase both patient and nurse satisfaction, floor by floor. Read page 5 here.

Foreword from Executive Leadership in Healthcare by Joseph Maciariello and Lyal Asay reprinted by permission of Jossey-Bass Publishers. Copyright ©1991 by Jossey-Bass: all rights reserved.

Should there be a doctor in the house?

“For three thousand years we’ve built the mystique of the MD. When the doctor says you must lose fifteen pounds, and the nurse-practitioner says it, you hear something different.”— Peter F. Drucker, Managing in the Next Society

  • Should your first call always be to an MD? Click here to read more.
  • Hear Jason Hwang, MD, MBA and co-author of The Innovator’s Prescription, discuss what really prevents nurse-practitioners from having more influence.