James Holly's archive

Contained within Abraham Lincoln’s famous “House Divided Speech,” delivered to the Republican Convention on April 16, 1856, is the imperative for data analytics and performance auditing by healthcare providers today. Lincoln said, “If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do, and how to do it.” 

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From Jan. 27 through Feb. 1, 2013, I participated in an executive education program titled “Shaping Healthcare Delivery Policy” at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in Boston, Mass. In more than 54 hours of case studies, presentations and dialogue, we examined creative approaches to solving complex healthcare problems, including ways of fulfilling the Institute of Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim: improving care, improving health and decreasing cost.

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While Kent Keith has not said such to me, it seems obvious that at the root of The Paradoxical Commandments are the virtues of personal passion, trust and hope. It seems that the leadership required for the transformation of healthcare will embrace those commandments and will exhibit the Personal Mastery describe by Peter Senge. 

 

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(Author’s Note: Following a hospital survey, several questions were raised about how physicians and nurses share their work. The survey team was alarmed that some physicians were allowing registered nurses with associate degrees (two-year diplomas) to complete patient evaluations.

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(Editor’s Note: The following narrative is about a real patient. I have requested and received permission to tell his story. His name will not be used but he is aware that it may be possible for some who know him to identify who he is. The story will be told from my perspective. He would tell it slightly differently, I suspect, but the facts are accurate and the implications of his story and our relationship are significant for the future of health care. Over the past three years, he and I have become good friends. I have learned to respect and care for him and he for me.

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