HealthLeaders Media Corner Office - February 22, 2008 | Tom, Dick, and Harry: The Innovators View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Tom, Dick, and Harry: The Innovators
Molly Rowe, Senior Editor-Leadership

"Innovation" may be the most over-used word in the leadership dictionary. Come up with a new nursing schedule? You're an innovator. Implement a new patient safety process? It's innovation. Redesign your gift shop? How innovative! Every CEO at every healthcare facility in the country tells me he's focused on innovation, but what really constitutes innovation? [Read More]

  Feb. 22, 2008

Editor's Picks
Innovative information storage
Speaking of innovation, this week's news was filled with stories of innovation in healthcare and beyond. For example, Google will test its much-touted health records management system by storing the records of a few thousand volunteer Cleveland Clinic patients. The password-protected medical profiles will include information on prescriptions, allergies, and medical histories. Critics say third-party record management systems like Google's put patient privacy at risk because they aren't covered by HIPPA. Risk? Uncertainty? Criticism? Sounds like innovation to me. [Read More]
Innovative patient care
More hospitals are adding pastels and music to their treatment methods in an attempt to shake healthcare's cold, sterile reputation. Proponents of gentler medicine say simple additions like natural lighting, food-on-demand, whiteboards, and soft music provide a calming atmosphere for patients, making them heal better and more quickly. [Read More]
Innovative accounting?
A 1.9-million-member union representing hospital and other service workers contends that Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center should restate its 2005 and 2006 financial reports using a new definition of charity care that doesn't include bad debt. Using the union's calculation for charity care, the amount of BIDMC's 2005 charity care would drop by 16 percent. Law experts expressed skepticism about the union's argument, calling it "creative lawyering" and a "shaky interpretation of the law." [Read More]
Innovative companies
While I was writing this week's innovation column, the March issue of Fast Company magazine landed on my desk. The cover story? The world's 50 most innovative companies. The top five companies include Google, Apple, Facebook, GE, and IDEO (the company behind Memorial Hospital's rapid prototyping process). Although there aren't any healthcare organizations in the mix, you can still learn a lot from these companies about what constitutes true innovation. And who knows? Maybe we'll see your name in next year's issue. [Read More]
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This Week's Headlines
Health data storage sites might not be secure
San Francisco Chronicle - February 20, 2008

Next wave of medical tourists might include the uninsured
Wall Street Journal (Subscription required) - February 16, 2008
Broader idea of health pumping up full-service fitness clubs
Cleveland Plain Dealer - February 19, 2008
Parents protest dismissal of Carolinas HealthCare System pediatrician
Charlotte Observer - February 18, 2008

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