Review of Redefining Health Care, by Porter and Teisberg

Looking back through my records, it appears that I began Porter and Tesiberg’s Redefining Health Care last November, so it’s a bit embarrassing that I’ve only now, in March, managed to finish it. In my defense, about halfway through it, I left it on a plane, and that initiated a bit of an odyssey to get it back, but really it’s just a long book and I’ve gotten a bit sidetracked with other books over the last two months. But enough excuses…

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Not technology, but management

I took a longer break than expected from my reading over the holidays, so I’m only about halfway done with Porter and Teisberg’s Redefining Health Care. But despite that, I’m still finding lots of thought-provoking passages as I make my way slowly through their work.

I came across this one right before the holidays and have been meaning to write about it ever since: “We have come to believe strongly that technology is important, but that the major problem the [health care] system is facing today is not technology but management” (p. 100).

In my experience, this is an all-too-common problem at the organizations I work with inside and outside health care. Almost daily I bump up against leaders who are willing to absent themselves from the fundamentals of management in the hopes that a new technology will solve business problems.

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I’m about 50 pages into Redefining Health Care by Michael Porter and Elizabeth Olmstead Teisberg, and while I’m a long way off from a review, it’s already providing lots of food for thought about leadership generally.

The most significant thing that’s struck me so far is the strong, almost relentless, focus on results in the book, and it’s gotten me thinking about the role of results in corporate decision-making and execution.

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