This book by Mark Vonderembse and David Dobrzykowski is ambitious. They develop and describe a comprehensive and integrated solution that addresses the root causes and underlying problems in the healthcare delivery system. They focus on how to implement the solution and describe the most important stakeholders in driving change.
They indicate that the solution depends on three key elements: implementing patient-centered care so that patients are better served, enhancing wellness so that less care is needed, and finding ways to use resources so that outcomes improve and costs decline. As part of the solution, they discuss shifting the value proposition for healthcare because it is a critical influencer in decision making. As patients focus primarily on the benefit side of the value proposition and, to a lesser extent, on the cost side because a third party pays most of the bill, patients tend to overconsume care and hospitals and providers have less incentive to focus on productivity, efficiency, and reducing costs. Patients should be more aware of the total cost of services they receive so that they can make more informed decisions about their care. In addition, hospitals and physicians need to change their focus and primary responsibilities from diagnoses and treatment to health and well-being. These are dramatic changes as each of these key constituencies in the value chain potentially has something important to lose, and as Vonderembse and Dobrzykowski point out, the gains are not necessarily well defined.
This is an important book for the C-level suite at any healthcare organization to read. But this book takes a broad view that would also appeal to graduate students and others interested in learning about healthcare administration and leadership or anyone interested in helping shape the future of healthcare, including the general public. It is a book with thoughtful and thought-provoking ideas written in a practical, common-sense manner.
The role of healthcare systems and how and when they care for individuals and communities is irrevocably changing. As healthcare leaders and professionals, we can no longer afford to think inwardly; we must take the broader view in driving industry change as we strive to achieve the triple aim of improving health outcomes, enhancing the care experience, and reducing costs.