Health care reform appears to be stumbling and bumbling its way along these days. Many of the solutions proposed are much like putting a band-aid on a gaping flesh wound. It might provide a short term fix, but the long-term solution is lacking.
We have a lot of smart people in this country who could provide us with many solutions for health care reform. What is perhaps more important is that most of them are not directly a part of the monolithic medical machine and all of its raging tentacles. There are a lot of great ideas out there that could serve as the foundation for truly epic and effective health care reform.
Here are five books for those who are looking for solutions to the health care dilemma.
But first, a basic premise to consider. As but one example, from my own experience, the reading that has had the most impact on my clinical practice has been, quite literally, non-clinical in nature. The solutions don’t always lie in the reading of clinical research articles. More often than not, the solutions lie far beyond those boundaries.
So with that in mind, I present to you 5 books that can provide a foundation for systemic, long-term health care reform.
1. “The Innovator’s Prescription: A Disruptive Solution For Health Care” by Clayton Christensen, Jerome Grossman, and Jason Hwang. Christensen’s work on disruptive innovation is brilliant. His look at disruptive innovation in health care, in conjunction with physicians Grossman and Hwang, is mind-bending. A great place to start the discussion of business models and care delivery in health care. [Amazon link]
2. “The Fifth Discipline: The Art And Practice Of The Learning Organization” by Peter Senge. “Learning organizations” are built on 5 primary disciplines: systems thinking, mental models, shared vision, team learning, and personal mastery. These are all key elements in any discussion of what health care reform should look like in the future. [Amazon link]
3. “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business By Being Remarkable” by Seth Godin. I have always enjoyed Godin’s perspectives on the world, and “Purple Cow” is certainly no different. It has been a long time since consumers would note that health care was anything close to “remarkable”. But shouldn’t it be a remarkable product? [Amazon link]
4. “Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything” by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams. Clinicians concerned with “market share” often shy away from collaboration. But there is a significant importance of collaboration and collective capacity that is not just limited to the clinicians. Consumers are a valuable element in open source value creation. The future of health care lies in moving away from a paternalistic approach and harnessing the collaborative efforts of all groups. [Amazon link]
5. “Presence: An Exploration Of Profound Change In People, Organizations, And Society” by Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski and Betty Sue Flowers. Long-term health care solutions will need to address societal and cultural factors – perhaps the root of many of our current systemic woes.The authors discuss the negative impact of old patterns of seeing and acting. They explore how “presence” can encourage deeper levels of learning and transformational change. [Amazon link]
What books have provided you with the greatest impact on your clinical practice or on how you view the problems – and solutions – in our health care world?
Photo credits: Alex E. Proimos