By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
January marked a historical senate vote in Massachusetts of near epic proportions. Essentially, this became a referendum on the President Obama’s first year in office in general and the healthcare debate in particular. The result of the contest did not bode well for our president. I wonder if he’s listening, really listening, to what the people have said. What I do know is that his demeanor is more subdued, and he has lost a bit of his swagger.
In politics, our elected officials, including President Obama, have one of three primary goals, which becomes the focus for what they do and say:
- Their job is to serve the will of the people.
- Their goal is be reelected.
- Their intent is to advance an ideology.
They can’t do all three; ultimately, only one will be their true and overarching focus. That means:
- If President Obama views his real job as serving the people, he will respond to their message and do an about-face on healthcare. He may not drop it completely, but at the very least, he will reverse course, providing what the people want.
- If President Obama’s true goal is to be reelected, he will distance himself from this hot potato in order to avoid committing political suicide.
- If President Obama’s genuine intent is to advance an ideology, then he will doggedly stay the course.
I suspect we will likely see him continue his unrelenting push for a healthcare overhaul – even if it’s not what the majority want or if renders him a one-term president.
Parkland Health Improves Care, Cuts Costs with Unified Communications
Parkland Health & Hospital System recently implemented a unified communications solution from Amcom Software, Inc., that has enabled them to enhance patient care through creative uses of technology, which in turn has reduced costs. The Dallas-based organization also uses integrated Amcom solutions for its contact center operations, Web-based employee directory, on-call scheduling, and emergency notification.
Round-the-clock agents field more than one million internal and external calls annually, including requests to activate critical medical and nonmedical notifications throughout the organization. The tight process developed for Heart Cath Team activations has notably reduced the hospital’s treatment time for heart attack patients (door-to-balloon time). The efficient use of the technology has helped Parkland achieve recent accreditation as a primary stroke center.
The system’s emergency notification capabilities have also helped Parkland send alerts to key groups outside the hospital for time-sensitive situations. This has included notifying staff at the nearby children’s hospital of incoming critical patients.
Internally, Parkland’s 8,000 employees have come to rely on the system’s Web-based employee directory and on-call schedules, which logged 2.5 million hits since 2005. Together, these efficiencies have generated ROI for Parkland in the form of reduced workload for the contact center.