It is Time to Act

Daniel J. Sinnott, for HealthLeaders Media , June 18, 2010

12. Electronic Medical Records are NOT the Silver Bullet: There is a tremendous need and opportunity to expand the utilization of the electronic medical record in order to provide effective and efficient quality of care. Unfortunately the availability of funding opportunities is leading many organizations to "computerize" existing poor practices.
Recommendation: Before electronic medical records are purchased and installed, organizations need to spend the time to correct flawed current practices and address the culture changes needed for the benefits to be realized.

13. Go forth and recruit: Healthcare organizations typically recruit leadership and employees from their existing healthcare market for obvious reasons but this practice often limits the infusion of new ideas. For example, Temple University hospital recently experienced a strike with its nursing and professional unions and had to recruit hundreds of replacement workers from across the country. One of the surprising outcomes of this recruitment effort was that these replacement workers brought new ideas and practices into the organization resulting in improved operational performance. Talk about an unintended benefit!

Recommendation: Consider recruiting individuals—whether they are physicians, nurses, or radiology technicians—from parts of the country that have a track record of being innovative in healthcare. This will enable new ideas to come into the organization and increase the chances of having innovation stimulated from within the culture of the organization.

Some of these ideas may be new; some may be a confirmation of things already known and some may be seen as radical. The key is that we as healthcare leaders need to become more innovative and willing to make significant changes in order to be successful in a post reform healthcare environment.

It is time to act.

Daniel J. Sinnott is the Chief Executive Officer of Sinnott Executive Consulting, in Wilmington, DE, and is a lecturer at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He may be reached at


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