“Cynical people aren’t engaged in trying to make things better.”
Those the words of a leadership guru speaking on new world realities, specifically on the theme: The Cynics are Winning. While he was talking leadership, I’m talking health care.
“Cynicism is the tendency to be close-minded and disillusioned,” according to Kouzes and Posner.
The guru also cited a study that said half (that is, 50%) of the people in the United States are cynical. Well I figure that the health care industry employs over 12 million people (and growing). Mix in politicians and health care’s tendency to have issues with change generally, and I’m going to go ahead and guess that the majority of people involved with health care’s future are cynics.
There’s no other explanation for why we’ve been talking about problems in health care for 40+ years while watching safe, incremental change move along at the pace of an inchworm. And costs generally keep going up—more like the pace of a horse’s gallop.
Health care’s cynicism has got me sounding like a cynic, now. Well I’m cynical toward cynics. (I guess we can all be that way from time to time. But collective cynicism for 40+ years? Come on!)
Concierge medicine doesn’t deliver care fairly (and the current system is better at this how?). Continuity of care between PCPs and retail clinics is poor (as if all other providers communicate well?). And electronic medical records are too dangerous (the mounting number of medical errors are a fair trade off?).
Tom Peters has said, “It is an age that begs for those who break the rules, who imagine the heretofore impossible.”
There will be never be unanimous agreement on any health care innovation. There will be issues with every potential solution.
But gosh it beats inaction. It beats sticking with the same model that obviously isn’t working well. Let’s try new things. Let’s work through the problems that arise. I’m hardly arguing for tearing down what we’ve got. But don’t be afraid to experiment. Embrace experimentation.