Operations

  • 10/22/18
    In December 1913 Henry Ford introduced the assembly line, revolutionizing the production of automobiles. For the first time, cars moved while the workers and their tools did not. Productivity increased dramatically, as the time required to produce an automobile dropped from 12 hours to two hours. Manufacturing would never be the same. A few weeks later, in February 1914, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra reemerged, having ceased operations in 1910. It’s a good bet that Mr. Ford was...more...
  • 10/17/18
    It seems just like yesterday when then-presidential candidate George H.W. Bush uttered the infamous words, “Read my lips: no new taxes.” What followed was President Bush doing something we rarely see these days – compromising with Congress and the other political party – to negotiate a budget that did, among other things, increase some taxes. Some analysts believe that his seeming failure to keep his word was partly to blame for losing his reelection bid.more...
  • 10/11/18
    I live in a growing and desirable part of southeastern United States. To get just about anywhere by car however I have to drive through rural America. Recently, I stopped at a small, independently owned gas station and noticed something strange behind the counter. There was only one choice of cigarettes. In my experience, tobacco sales were a big business in this part of the country and gas stations made a pretty good margin on every pack sold. I asked the attendant if those were the only...more...
  • 10/01/18
    Just before the financial meltdown of 2008, a neurologist named Michael Burry – who managed an investment hedge fund – foresaw the implosion of the mortgage-backed securities market and began investing heavily in what are known as credit default swaps. For years, banks had been making mortgage loans to people who were borrowing far beyond their means. Lenders were then bundling risky loans into mortgage-backed securities and selling those securities to investors ranging from large...more...
  • Guest blog
    09/19/18
    Walk through any clinical (or even non-clinical) unit in a hospital and you’ll likely see a visual example of how that department highlights and tracks its progress. A popular continuous improvement tool, huddle boards help teams collaborate on the most important tasks and actions in order to provide the highest level of patient care. New Hanover Regional Medical Center is no different.more...
  • 09/18/18
    Health care today looks much different than in the past and leaders at traditional hospitals are finding it necessary to expand their services outside the hospital, particularly into the post-acute and ambulatory care sectors. Expanding services to include other types of care facilities means expanding your supply chain and with that comes complexities, risks and opportunities.more...
  • 09/11/18
    It was reported in March that U.S. consumer credit card debt exceeded $1 trillion for the first time. Just how big is one trillion? A trillion is one million million. It would take 31,709 years to count to one trillion if you didn’t stop to eat or sleep. Imagine your dad back in 1968, piling the family into the station wagon for a road trip to the Grand Canyon. As you pulled out of the driveway, he cheerfully suggested that you count to a trillion as a way to pass the time. Had you stuck...more...
  • 08/30/18
    My favorite philosopher, Yogi Berra, once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up somewhere else.” It’s an easy argument to show that we continually end up somewhere else in our current health care performance improvement efforts, and most times that somewhere else is the land of no change. No matter the laudable efforts of many people, we seemed to get derailed in our improvement efforts by everything from unengaged clinicians to a lack of...more...
  • 08/29/18
    In the age of near-constant mergers and acquisitions, health systems are taking on tremendous costs in the form of third-party—or purchased—services. When a hospital or health system acquires additional facilities or a private practice, it inherits all of that entity’s contracted purchased services, including IT and telecom, clinical services, security, maintenance and more.more...
  • 08/22/18
    Something in the newspaper caught my eye recently, which triggered a sequence of free-association thinking that ultimately led to a mixture of concern and hope for the future of health care. It was an almanac reference to the last close encounter with Halley’s Comet in 1986. Named for an English astronomer who was born in 1656, the 6-mile-wide chunk of rock and ice hurtling through space at 158,000 miles per hour intersects Earth’s orbit every 75 years. Contemplating the fact that...more...