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Healthcare Leadership Lessons from the Presidents

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Today is President’s Day here in the US and so I thought I’d do a little something to honor the past President’s of the United States. I’m not sure why, but I always immediately go to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln on President’s Day. I think they were both extremely powerful leaders and healthcare could learn a lot from them.

Think about what both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln faced during their presidencies. They had to fight against tremendous opposition in order to do something great. I wonder how many in healthcare have the bravery and courage of Washington and Lincoln. How many are willing to go against really powerful opposing forces and implement something that’s the right thing to do? Unfortunately far too few are weak in the leadership and vision departments.

The most simple example I can think of is interoperability of healthcare records. I wrote previously about how it’s time to make healthcare records interoperable. We all know it’s the right thing to do, but it will take unique leaders willing to do something brave and courageous to make it happen. The forces against it are strong.

Chew on this quote from George Washington, “Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.” Could interoperability be considered a moral duty? I think so.

Now one from Abraham Lincoln, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” I’ve seen far too many healthcare leaders just counting their days as opposed to living their lives. Both Washington and Lincoln are memorable because they had life in their years. Far too many CIOs and healthcare leaders are going to be forgotten because they didn’t have life in their years.

I know when I first started working in healthcare I was touched by the impact that I could have for good. I was entranced by the idea that something I did (even if I’m a tech guy) could somehow help improve or save someone’s life. The amazing thing is that this isn’t just a casual hope. It’s the reality of the work we do. Working in healthcare means we can improve and even save lives. This President’s Day I hope we all work to be better leaders so we can live up to that ambitious potential.

February 17, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Happy President’s Day

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Today is President’s Day for those not keeping track at home. My kids are out of school today and tomorrow. I’m not sure how many in healthcare IT get this day off. Certainly many in healthcare will be working today like they do every other holiday.

I’ve always found President’s Day interesting, because there are no real traditions for President’s Day like there are for so many other holidays. Maybe some people have them, but I don’t know anyone that has something they always do and there’s definitely not a cultural tradition that everyone does. I do think it’s a great thing to honor and remember our past Presidents.

I’m sure that many that read this have seen the latest movie on Lincoln that’s come out. I have yet to see it, but look forward to seeing it. Many of the previews and reviews I’ve seen paint a really interesting new way to look at a President that I think we all thought we knew. From what I’ve read and heard, Lincoln is painted as a very driven man that wouldn’t take no for an answer and had some of his own demons to deal with as well.

When I think about the bravery that Lincoln had to have to be able to change something so significant as slavery, I can’t help but think that we need someone as brave as him to make the changes that are needed in healthcare. I don’t want to take the comparison too far since in many ways what’s happening in healthcare and slavery are completely different. However, I do think the comparison applies when you think of what it will take to make changes to healthcare. A lot of people’s lives will be effected in dramatic ways by changes to healthcare, just like when slavery was ended.

Our society doesn’t seem to want to make short term sacrifices in order to achieve long term benefits. Healthcare IT is plagued with this and I don’t see any clear path to solve this problem. We need more “Lincolns” across healthcare IT that can really lead despite challenging opposition.

Just a few things on my mind this Holiday. I hope everyone has a great holiday. My wife and I got a room at a local hotel and we’re surprising our kids with a little trip. Should be fun for them.

February 18, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

EMR Note Just a Billing Justification

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Many of you might remember my post about EMR documentation by exception. Today I came across the best description of the problem with this form of documentation:

When a consultant sends you an EMR note, you are reading his Billing Justification.

Seems like this post is appropriate for President’s Day. Imagine the founding fathers wrote the constitution or bill of rights in order to justify their billing. We’d have 100 amendments, but only 10 of them that other people needed to read. Luckily our founding fathers had the good sense to only pen what was needed. Maybe we should take a lesson from these amazing men.

February 15, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.