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Healthcare Management Problems


Go Far Beyond Technology Tangles


Thanks to what many doctors regard as excessive and medically-uninformed government intervention, excessive and medically-uninformed insurance company intrusion, and financially inept hospital consolidations, America’s private and hospital-based medical practices are suffering from excessive (and medically-unacknowledged) stress.

Doctors and Staffs find themselves having to be caught up with power-play control battles instead of with innovating and nurturing methodologies for improved case management and patient care. This is not a condemnation of medical technology advances by any means. It is in fact an endorsement for more tech exploration while simultaneously getting back to basics.

Positive stress enables healthcare managers to answer the wake-up call for effective practice management to realistically occur on two fronts at the same time. EMR and EHR systems and skills represent focal point one. Case management, patient care, and patient family care, focal point two.

But negative stress (or “dis-stress”) surfaces when one of these (like, for example, the current fad for dedicated insistence on “lean” healthcare) enslaves the other.

Relentless interruptions of non medically-trained government and insurance regulators who seek to satisfy their self-importance at the expense of doctor, staff, and patient stress levels, have the same effect as throwing gasoline on a fire.

Whether rulings require doctors to spend just 12 minutes per patient (likely headed toward 8 minutes!), or to conduct patient gun ownership surveys, the result is negative stress.

Negative stress feeds medical errors. It takes its toll on the lives of trained professionals and their families. Often, patients and patient families suffer needlessly because of mixed or contradictory signals lost in busy day-to-day clouds of smoke.

Even monster teaching hospitals, including the highest-rated in the country, fail miserably at basic communication skill levels. Doctors don’t talk with one another. They are too pressured to take the time to advocate on behalf of the very patients they serve.  And –worst of all– they fail to communicate with their patients and patient families meaningfully and consistently.

Practice Managers get the short end of the stick.

My best guess: Most Practice Managers end up absorbing 3/4 of all the stress generated by the madness of keeping Herculean time schedules, by catering to the administrative needs of the doctors they serve, by managing the daily barrage of staff, task and insurance management issues, and by having to deliver “customer service psychotherapy” to patients and families.

There are solutions, but they are not one-dimensional. Healthcare can never have universal value unless those charged as providers can have the freedom they need to function without constant government interference and insurance company strangleholds.

The first step to fixing a leak is to stop the leak. This means making extraordinary efforts to channel stress productively and to commit to implementing improved personal communications.  CHECK OUT  Medical Practice Managers

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