On May 9, Edith Isabel Rodriguez was released from the emergency room at South Los Angeles’ Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital with a bottle of pills. Her stomach pain was so severe she collapsed in front of the building. Back inside, the 43-year-old woman writhed in agony and vomited blood on the floor of the waiting room for more than 40 minutes as her boyfriend’s pleas for help were ignored. When her boyfriend contacted hospital security, Edith wound up being arrested for a parole violation. She died while being taken out of the hospital.

Read more: King-Harbor Revisited

Can we talk? I need to get some stuff off my chest. In 1978, I entered hospital consulting after 11 years working for Big Pharma. I found the state of hospital management in a time warp, significantly behind management practice in Fortune 500 companies. A lot of things have improved between then and now, but one deadly addiction remains. —American healthcare is excessively consultant dependent.

Read more: Confessions of a Consultant

Where Are the Innovators in Healthcare?” the headline of Regina Herzlinger’s July 19 commentary in The Wall Street Journal asks. Why, Ms. Herzlinger, they’re everywhere. Herzlinger, author of Who Killed Health Care (McGraw Hill, 2007) and professor of Innovating in Healthcare at Harvard Business School answers the $60,000 question of he decade—how can America heal its broken healthcare system—quite succinctly: consumer-driven healthcare.

Read more: Herzlinger's Silver Bullet Misses Target

Disruptive business models are a bitch. Just ask a music industry executive. One day you’re happily selling millions of CDs a year at $16 a pop; the next day those pesky MP3 files show up, and your business is in free fall. Although it may seem odd, physicians and others in healthcare have a lot to learn from the music industry. For example: Don’t stick your head in the sand. It doesn’t work. The sand in this case is AMA’s attitude toward mini clinics.

Read more: Rx Remove Head From Sand

Plagues periodically swept through Europe during the Middle Ages, killing and disfiguring tens of thousands as the infection took hold in one village after another. In the economic bad times of the mid- to late 1990s, a plague, borne by its consultant carriers, was visited upon healthcare providers—the dreaded layoff.

Read more: The Idiocy of Layoffs

According to a new Press Ganey report, if you think you’ve done all you can to enhance relationships with your physicians, you’re probably wrong. The study found that the number one thing doctors say hospital administrators can do to better meet the expectation of physicians is to be more responsive to their needs. Perhaps more telling is that four of the five top responses have to do with hospital administration. Number two is making patient care easier, number three is improving the way administration deals with changes, number four is improving physicians’ confidence in administration, and number five is improving communication with administration.

Read more: Open Up

In the 1990s, business schools were confronted with research that showed their vaunted management programs weren’t producing executives capable of getting business results. Said Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeffer, “There is little evidence that mastery of the knowledge acquired in business schools enhances people’s careers, or that even attaining the MBA credential itself has much effect on graduates’ salaries or career attainment.”

Read more: Management Malpractice

You’ve got to give it to Michael Leavitt. The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services can spin a good yarn. At a speech at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government on Tuesday night, September 25, Leavitt did just that.

Read more: A Healthcare Fairy Tale

Digital Edition

Subscribe