Question, challenge, criticize

Question, challenge, criticize

The best examples of healthcare transformation involve organizations that constantly seek to improve, by questioning and critiquing existing practices. Successful organizations often learn from mistakes: not just their own mistakes, but those of other organizations too – particularly in stories of organizational decline.

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Businessmain giving presentation

Murray Brennan, MD – Vice President for International Programs, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, US

The best examples of healthcare transformation involve organizations that constantly seek to improve, by questioning and critiquing existing practices. Virginia Mason’s leaders are never satisfied, displaying the kind of restlessness that leads to decisive change.

Mark Rochon, KPMG in Canada, notes that successful organizations often learn from mistakes: not just their own mistakes, but those of other organizations too – particularly in stories of organizational decline.

Self-analysis should be based on fact not opinion, with any arguments backed with hard data. In advance of the KPMG conference, Murray Brennan, one of the world’s foremost oncology specialists and Vice President for International Programs at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, was asked to determine whether the current US cancer care model was transferable to other nations. He approached the task in a highly scientific manner, producing four hypotheses:

  • US healthcare is the best in the world
  • those that can afford the care will come to the US
  • US healthcare can be exported
  • US cancer care can be exported.

After methodically testing each hypothesis, Murray's conclusion was very different to the one he expected to reach. “The current approach to cancer care in the US is not sustainable or exportable. Wide application of expensive therapy with minimal benefit is not a model that can improve global cancer care.

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