Month: June 2015

Distracting Pilots Landing Planes

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Years ago, I owned a lawn service. I ran the company.

Actually, I was the company. The only worker. Then, a buddy of mine joined up. It became our summer gig for many years.

We prided ourselves on quality. We were good at what we did. And, we were fast, too.

Jump ahead a few years. Okay, more than a few.

I now work in healthcare. And, to be honest, I wish there were more similarities now with what I did back then. I’ll explain.

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Time to Leave Early?

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Leave early.

Two words. Simple concept. But, one worth thinking about.

James Altucher explains it well, but this is the same guy who also thought he could save his business by becoming more like a Jedi Knight. Admittedly, the Jedi thing seemed to work for him, and his businesses, as well as the uncountable number of people he’s helped since then. But, becoming your own Skywalker is for a different day. Today, I’m just talking about how to leave early.

I’m not envisioning the “BIG” checkout. Although, admittedly, life is one fragile ride. My dad died suddenly a few months ago, and I felt that he left early. Two of my best friends lost their fathers since then, too. In fact, it’s amazing how you feel others’ losses more closely following your own. But, let’s scratch the Death Star talk for now.

I’m really just talking about the Pareto principle. At least what I can extrapolate from it.

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Purifying Healthcare (Part 2): One Desolate Place Without Industry

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Essentially every concept has positives and negatives.

No matter how opinionated a player on one side wants to be, there are usually always some benefits to the opposing team’s approach to the game.

In healthcare, whether you think we need a single-payer system, a multi-payer system, or no system at all, I can find you a simulator that will reveal perceived benefits for each of these strategies. The simulator will tell you the negatives, too. And, then, no matter how robust it may be, the simulator will still manage to imperfectly predict real life.

You see, what often makes sense to a simulator becomes bizarely twisted in application. Human beings display surprisingly self-directed and unpredictable behaviors. Uncertainty is a certainty.

Cause and effect are challenging to prove and our own observations even interfere. For example, there was a time when we wrongly associated ice cream consumption with the spread of the Poliovirus, merely because both were more prominent in the summer months. Life is complicated. And, everyone has an angle.

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Purifying Healthcare (Part 1): Just Another Invented Game?

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Everyone has an angle. Everyone.

Your doctor? Sure. But, he or she isn’t the only one. The pharmaceutical company? Of course. The medical device company? The hospital? The insurance company? You get the point. Everyone has an angle. Everyone has a conflict of interest. Know it. Get over it. It’s time to focus on something else.

Like filling up your car with gas. In fact, you better plug your ears when you do it. Heaven forbid one of those automated messages at the pump convinces you to buy a 42 ounce gulp of Pepsi. Just another angle, my friends. It’s called life.

But, medicine isn’t supposed to have any conflicts of interest, right? Healthcare instead should be like religion, or maybe, like politics… sorry, I’m now getting confused what’s supposed to be pure.

We just live at a time in America where so much of healthcare has become invented. And, the more we keep inventing, the more it seems that we lose track of what matters: the hopelessly out-of-date concept known as the patient-physician relationship.

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