The management style of many health care organizations in North America still fall in the traditional mold. And those organizations are quickly losing the favours of patients and public healthcare systems.
Traditional health care organizations manage by “directives”, delegate by “position”, and make decision following “line functions”. If you are a manager in that kind of organization, you survive by keeping information to yourself and creating deep silos. The people in your organization that need information most—your front-line care providers—have to wait until vital information is pushed down to them at your discretion.
This is called “smart-push”, because you have to be smart enough to know what information to push to whom in your organization. You have to know what your staffs need to know at any time in any situation.
Are you “that smart”? Nobody can be. Therefore, holding on to information and hoping to push it when needed may give you a sense of power, but it sure doesn’t empower your knowledge workers. In fact, you become a productivity bottleneck. Your care providers are turned off. Your patients are frustrated and afraid.
On the other hand, your organization can exercise its authority not by directives but by establishing winning conditions. Instead of delegating, your people can take charge autonomously. And decision making, instead of following a chain of command, can become everyone’s job.
Everyone in this environment can post information as they generate it. No one needs to be “smart” and try to find out who might need their information and when. No need to be information smart: if you have information, just post it. Other knowledge workers will pull the information they want when they want it.
That’s what we call “Post-Pull” and that’s why it is so much more productive and engaging: your front line knowledge workers and your patients don’t have to wait for a manager to push information to them: they can just access it as needed.
In the age of Facebook and Twitter, your patients—rightfully—expect to be able to find all the information they want, when they want it; especially when it pertains to their care or the care of their loved ones. Ditto for your front-line care providers. They should have the right to pull any information they feel will help them serve better their patients.
That’s the difference between “smart-push” and “post-pull”. Smart-Push actually dumbs down and brutalizes your knowledge workers. But Post-Pull engages your patients and care providers at both an intellectual and emotional levels.
Where would you like your mother to receive healthcare from? An old-fashion facility where vital information trickles down through stovepipe monopolies? Or a 21th Century healthcare delivery organization where everyone involved with the care of your mother—including your mother and your family—can access all the information they need to make fully informed decisions? Which one is more trustworthy?
Come and visit us at e-Health Conference Ottawa 2013 on May 26-29. I will be presenting the highlights of the nine building blocks of an effective “Post-Pull” healthcare organization and show how they are currently being deployed throughout the Ontario’s South East LHIN region.
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Read the abstract of my talk and email me your questions right now. I will give your emailed questions special attention during the presentation.
Chief Architect, NCI