HealthLeaders Media Corner Office - November 13, 2009 | Swine Flu Vaccine Offers Lessons in Leadership View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Swine Flu Vaccine Offers Lessons in Leadership
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Leadership

Recent controversy about the safety of the H1N1 or "swine" flu vaccine has spread to people you'd think would know better, such as healthcare workers. Excuses abound, but so many legions of them are saying they don't plan to get the vaccine. Seeing something like this, it's no wonder we have such a problem with getting caregivers to consistently wash their hands. In fact, I'm only vaccinated against H1N1 myself because the initial 3,000 inoculations set aside for healthcare workers here in Nashville were so underutilized that you'd think they were giving away eye pokes and face slaps. So how does a leader sell an initiative that may be necessary but which is unpopular?
[Read More]
  November 13, 2009

Editor's Picks
Eight Ways That Could Contain Healthcare Costs
Where, exactly, will the $420 billion to $440 billion in health savings from Medicare suggested in the Senate and House proposals, respectively, come from over the next 10 years? And how can the nation keep high U.S. healthcare spending from continuing its upward trajectory? Apparently, no one knows, even Congress, according to a new report from RAND Health that my colleague Cheryl Clark broke yesterday. Elizabeth A. McGlynn and three research colleagues from RAND say those issues are not addressed in the current policy discussion in Congress. Who's surprised? But the report does have some helpful suggestions for policymakers. I don't know what it will take for them to use these suggestions, however, since many industries stand to lose from any of these policies being enacted. [Read More]
Three Amendments that Could Slow Down Senate Debate
Any fast action on the so-called healthcare reform bill in the Senate, as promised by Majority Leader Harry Reid, will likely run into snags from legislative amendments introduced from the floor that may slow the process as they are debated, says my colleague Janice Simmons. She outlines three that you're probably familiar with that would slow the process considerably. [Read More]
Old Grady Hospital board regains some clout
It's a staple of every horror movie. The villain gets stabbed, shot, and possibly chain-sawed, but still comes back to attack the protagonists one more time. It appears the old board at Atlanta's Grady Hospital is playing the part of the antagonist in the latest news from the troubled public hospital. As one Atlanta native told me this week, this could only happen in Atlanta. I don't know if that's true, but Grady Hospital has been a mess under the old board for years. Though that board doesn't have the power it once did thanks to the creation last year of a new corporate board under new Grady CEO Michael Young, bringing the old authority board back in the role detailed in this story seems destined for trouble. [Read More]
How to avoid falling victim to a hospital mistake
Many hospitals have been trying to reduce malpractice litigation exposure recently by admitting their mistakes. However, a recent case involving a pregnant woman who was mistakenly given a CT scan meant for a woman of the same first name, that tactic appears to have backfired. A Banner hospital in Arizona apparently mistook Kerry Higuera for another woman named Kerry who was to have had the CT. As a result, her unborn child was irradiated and though the hospital admitted its mistake and apologized, the child and his family still face the possibility that he will develop abnormally, and it appears the hospital will probably be sued. However, that doesn't mean the strategy isn't valid. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
Three Health Reform Ideas That Will Stay, Three That Will Go
Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media - November 11, 2009
TX-based JPS Health Network votes to end participation in tax increment financing districts
Fort Worth Star-Telegram - November 12, 2009
Senators discuss creation of panel to control health costs
Miami Herald/Kaiser Health News - November 12, 2009
Doctor sues Burlington, MA-based Lahey Clinic, says stent issue led to firing
Boston Globe - November 12, 2009
Unions battle over health workers
Wall Street Journal - November 12, 2009
Tampa General Hospital snaps up properties
Tampa Bay Business Journal - November 12, 2009
Mass head-shaving raises $200,000 for Washington, DC-based Children's National Medical Center
Washington Post - November 12, 2009

Webcasts/Audio Conferences
Women's Health: Building a More Profitable Service Line With Existing Assets (December 17)
Marketing Cardiology: Service Line Strategies for Marketers (December 3)
Service Lines Strategies Workshop 2009: Stroke Care (November 17)

Sponsored Headlines
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Carving Out a New Model

HealthLeaders November 2009
Responding to heightened scrutiny and reimbursement cuts, healthcare CEOs are becoming increasingly interactive with a growing list of constituents. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Don't Count on Colonoscopies

New procedural developments and a shifting market are changing how physicians and hospitals work together to deliver digestive health services. [Read More]
View from the Top

Supply Chain Management in an Era of Healthcare Reform: Healthcare reform is coming. Regardless of the specifics of the plan, the future will surely focus on informing the patient, will most certainly further constrain revenues, and will likely increase patient throughput. With all that said, leadership can expect significant challenges during the coming reform period. In the current environment and the one to come, provider executives must continue to find the means to do more with less. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Broken Neck Reveals Hospital Management Problems: Dr. John Kenagy is a physician, healthcare executive, scholar, and advisor, who was once described by Forbes Magazine as "The Man Who Would Save Healthcare." He's written a book called Designed to Adapt: Leading Healthcare in Challenging Times. What's interesting about the book is that many of the lessons come from his personal experience surviving a critical hospital stay for a broken neck, where he came to the conclusion that most healthcare organizations can't manage the many small problems that affect each individual patient on a day-to-day basis, let alone the larger issues faced by the industry. I spoke with him recently and he's featured in this week's audio interview. [Listen Now]
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