By Gregg A. Masters, MPH
It takes courage to live a life of consistent integrity. Owning the occasional ‘wreckage of one’s presence’ (you know when things don’t go your way or as planned) can at times be an emotional and intellectual stretch. After all, we do live in a society that often embraces the transfer (vs. ownership) of one’s ‘guilt’ to another party. Whether you call it proactive risk management or ‘socio-pathetic’ behavior the common denominator is to distance oneself from the consequences of ‘failure’ or disappointment.
Let’s be real, we all have obligations including financial, professional, family, community, etc. Yet in our busy and challenging lives especially in a trying, somewhat unstable, and paradigm shifting digital economy honoring Sinclair’s challenge is a worthy reflection:
It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
More recently and perhaps best expressed by Steve Jobs’ legendary challenge to John Sculley, the then President/CEO of PepsiCo:
Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or do you want to come with me and change the world?
The same sensibilities if not value proposition choices remain with us today. If anything the stakes have gotten considerably higher.
Our ‘healthcare borg’ is failing many. It’s unrestrained appetite and unaccountable under-belly are no longer limited to internal esoteric debates among health policy wonks or healthcare leadership. The entire US economy is now at stake. So the question if not challenge I offer to the healthcare social media talent pool is:
what are you doing to advance the triple aim?
For those not necessarily tethered to the details of health policy, or transformational imperative debate, let me summarize the goal posts below, courtesy of Health Affairs:
Improving the U.S. health care system requires simultaneous pursuit of three aims: improving the experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing per capita costs of health care. Preconditions for this include the enrollment of an identified population, a commitment to universality for its members, and the existence of an organization (an “integrator”) that accepts responsibility for all three aims for that population. The integrator’s role includes at least five components: partnership with individuals and families, redesign of primary care, population health management, financial management, and macro system integration.
So with all due respect to your moral code, values and obligations (especially to those who sign your paycheck or who’s mouths you feed), ask yourself if your actions in social media advance the cause of the triple aim? If not, please re-evaluate how you are deploying these very powerful collaborative and engagement tools?
For example, is it in service of an unsustainable if not ‘value subtraction’ business model? If you have trouble connecting with ‘eligible entities’ or who might otherwise fit into this bucket, you might want to review Paul F. Levy’s recap of Clayton Christensen’s view of the health care world, as set forth in ‘The Innovator’s Prescription.’
So be bold, use the power of these tools wisely. Just ask yourself: ‘what am I pretending not to know?’ Don’t be a vehicle that breaths life into failing or ‘net community negative’ institutions’ or interests. Take a stand! Make it about the ‘all in healthcare eco-system’.
More later on that one!