High Reliability Organizations…. and the Government?
I read today that millions of dollars of the ”stimulus” money was sent to dead people in error. Not only that, but some of the dead people who received their “stimulus” checks have been dead for over 8 decades. Not only that but some of these dead “octomortarians” didn’t have a social security number…ever. And not only have they been dead for 80 years, without a social security number, but they didn’t even live in this country. So, to clarify, in April I withdrew my earnings from my saving account from my little locally owned bank in the midwest and sent it to Washington so they could withdraw it from their very big but nearly insolvent bank and send it to…Italy…to a dead old guy. Or actually to many many dead old guys to the tune of millions and millions of dollars. To my way of thinking, that’s really taking redistibution of wealth to another level.
At this mornings plenary session, Dr. Chassin of the Joint Commission suggests that the health care system needs to emulate “high reliability organizations” or “HRO’s” in order to achieve high quality initiatives. In short, the big challenge of the transformation of health care will require a “focus on customer service that is very sensitive to small things that aren’t working.”
Can anybody tell me if mistaking a bunch of dead people for live ones disqualifies the government as a high reliability organization? If so, I think we can take Dr. Chassin’s presentation as an instructive review of exactly why we shouldn’t put the government in charge of our health care dollars. However, if Washington does manage to grab control of the health care pie, then I’m sure “universal health care” and “bundled payments” will be redefined in ways we can’t even imagine. Might be humorous if it wasn’t so painful.