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Much like airlines, hospitals nickel and dime patients

November 6th, 2014

by Anthony Cirillo

By now we're used to and numb to airlines adding fee after fee to drive as much revenue as possible. Booking fees, change fees, premium seat fees, bag fees. Flying used to be a great experience. Now it's a cattle herd. Oh, and don't dare recline that seat!

It seems the hospital industry is following the trend. Witness two articles in The New York Times in the space of a month that essentially amount to cataloging the price gauging taking place in the industry. While the industry talks about cost cutting and the need for it, hospitals not so subtly try to make up reimbursement cuts by creatively finding ways to charge extra and often hidden fees.

=> Read more!

Responsiveness key to improving healthcare delivery

October 9th, 2014

by Anthony Cirillo

I met with a colleague last month with whom I'm partnering to create a system that can help organizations monitor and respond to patient and family concerns, questions and compliments in real time using their own devices.

Who wouldn't want that in their organization? Get on top of situations. Promote positive word of mouth. Set up the organization for better HCAHPS responses.

Turns out some organizations want to run the other way.

The platform allows organizations to get data in real time. And with that comes responsibility. The organization must act on it and align their processes and workflows to become a responsive organization. Not every organization is ready to or willing to do this.

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Dying with dignity: Lessons hospitals can learn from hospice

September 10th, 2014

by Anthony Cirillo

For those readers following the black cloud over our family's head this year, you know that my wife's brother and then my sister passed away less than a month apart earlier this year. On Aug. 23, so did my father-in-law, Lou. He was hospitalized July 3 and never made it home. While 51 days of his hospital experience were miserable, the last day of his life was peaceful and dignified.

His last day was spent in hospice, administered in the hospital through a separate company not affiliated with the hospital. The culture difference was glaring. And hospice workers were truly caring.

First, they respected the family's wishes. I married into a large Irish family and there were probably 20 of us around his bed as they withdrew support. Even a cousin from Northern Ireland, a priest, came over and administered last rites. Crowd control was not an issue. The hospice nurse simply let us have our space while she explained necessary information in a respectful manner.

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Hospitals must address underlying societal issues

August 10th, 2014

by Anthony Cirillo

Earlier this year I attended a World Health Care Congress session on employee health. The head of Comcast's human resources spoke. He offered a different perspective on addressing employees' health.

Comcast focuses less on specific programs to promote employee wellness (benefits, wellness centers) and more on the underlying triggers that cause bad health to manifest.

He cited something I hadn't heard of before. It was Eliza Corporation's Engagement Index. This tool examines life context issues while predicting how those issues impact health, spending and satisfaction--ultimately expanding the definition of health.

=> Read more!

Lessons from Uber car service: Take hassle out of healthcare

July 2nd, 2014

by Anthony Cirillo

I was in theDistrict of Columbia in April, and at a meeting the idle chitchat turned to a lively conversation about Uber. Ever heard of it? I hadn't.

Uber, through the Uber App, seamlessly connects riders to drivers. At its basic level, it is a cross between taxi and car service. Founded in 2009, it is in 70 cities today. And taxi companies are not too happy.

See, Uber takes the yucky out of the taxi experience and then enhances that experience with the mobile app. I was in New York City for my birthday. Having downloaded the app, I said to my wife, "Let's try this." All I can say is, "Wow."

=> Read more!

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