19 May 2011

Saving healthcare costs with technology

Dr Grumble is often being told by management consultants and the like that his patients can now be looked after in their own homes instead of the hospital with the aid of various bits of innovative kit that will monitor their condition and alert doctors via the internet when they are becoming unwell. Grumble has always been somewhat baffled these claims. Can technology really be the answer to rising costs in healthcare? The question is addressed in this video.

The answer is no surprise to Dr Grumble. Perhaps it is not obvious to the management consultants. They know about finance but they really do not seem to grasp the fundamentals of healthcare. Healthcare as a business is rather different from what most managers are familiar with. They understand the problem: healthcare costs. But soultions like privatisation are never going to solve this. Quite the opposite. A very different approach is needed. The video makes that clear.


Dr Aust said...

Isn't the standard consultancy line that the same disciplines of "management" (measurables, "deliverables", KPIs etc etc) apply to everything, Dr G?

To be fair, most of my University friends that went into consultancy did START OFF in consultancy working in sectors they had pre-MBA-and-consultancy experience of, but all that seems likely to mean is that the consultancy firms might take people out of mid-level NHS management (and perhaps the very occasional disillusioned ex-SHO) and then feed them back into health service consultancy. And at the next level or two up, I was told, consultants think that a consultant can turn their hand to any sector.

My best mate from University became a consultant after working in local authority housing for a few years. His first jobs as a consultant were consultancy on privatising council housing, but once he was more senior he was helping restructure a major biomedical services company., a sector he had no experience of at all.

The other thing I was told about consultancy is that it is/was a basic ethos of the business that privatisation/marketisation was always best. And also that the client knew that before hiring you, and that that was why you got hired. My friend said that the councils who hired his firm in the 90s "notionally* hired them to advise on:

"What should we do with our housing stock?"

- but that it was common understanding that this really meant:

"What is the best way for us to shift our housing stock into the private or voluntary sector?"

NHS..RIP said...

A very eloquent speaker and basically nails many of our current problems on the head. Many Thanks

Human Growth Hormone Houston said...

Αn imρreѕsive shaгe! Ӏ've just forwarded this onto a friend who has been doing a little homework on this.

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