A doctor-friend of mine describes healthcare as an industry run by fear. Fear of an audit. Fear of a lawsuit. Fear of an adverse event. This manifests itself in an over-abundance of caution that leads us as an industry to move very slowly. In a fantastic post on the topic called Fighting healthcare’s resistance to change, Drex DeFord says:
In a nutshell, we’re not agile. We’re overly-cautious. “Perfect is the enemy of good” is something we say, but not something we actually do consistently.
We take industry complexity, and we wrap ourselves in it like our favorite well-worn blanket. It’s our favorite shield against change. Well, Linus, I think it’s time to give up the blanket.
Our monstrous healthcare spend (now more than $3 Trillion) is the number one thing we in healthcare should fear. It puts pressure on all aspects of our lives and consequently will continue to draw scrutiny and forced solutions from those outside the industry. We need to take control of our own destiny, get comfortable with our fear and change the pace at which we work.
In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
Q1: What are the greatest sources of fear for the healthcare industry? Think of all actors including providers, admins, bureaucrats, c-levels, etc.
Q2: Are these fears well founded? How do they compare to similar situations in other industries and how are they mitigated?
Q3: What are the by-products of these fears that slow us down (i.e. too many meetings with too many actors)?