Archive for the ‘Hospital Administration’ category

Accountable Care Organizations

April 2nd, 2011

Avery Johnson of the Wall Street Journal wrote an excellent explanatory article this week about accountable care organizations – ACO’s. They’re a potential spin out from the Health Care Reform Act which are about to begin taking shape within the U.S. healthcare system.  The four hundred plus page proposal that was released this week is now being made available for comment, but those administrators and physicians who generally get the concept already are quietly pouring through the pages of this document to determine how it can become a part of their practices.

Donald Berwick, MD, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stated that ACOs were brought into effect with three major aims which are better care for individuals, better health for populations, and slower growth in costs through improvements in care.

Proposed Measures for ACO Quality-Performance Standards.

Scheduled to begin in January 2012, the primary goal of the ACO concept, not unlike other previous historical steps, such as PPO’s and HMO’s, is intended to extract about a billion dollars in costs from the existing Medicare system.  Theoretically, this model is not without merit.  Because most healthcare in the United States is still literally “a cottage industry,” simply having patient advocates help co-ordinate the care of those mega-users, the 18 Club of patients with nine physicians with whom they interact annually and nine different drugs that they take daily, should benefit tremendously.  If these patients can be directed to avoid those unneeded duplications, millions could be saved.

The government outlined rules for how doctors and hospitals can organize into new businesses to reduce Medicare costs and improve care are at the heart of the accountable-care organizations.  The new partnerships that could/should evolve from ACO’s would be aimed at controlling these costs.   They would be structured to coordinate care and their reward would be to share financially in savings with the government if they could come in lower than expected.  There is an alternative universe, however, where they would risk being penalized financially if they go over the anticipated costs.

There is no question that better synchronization of care could help to reduce both hospital readmissions and medical errors which in turn would produce Medicare savings.  In line with this, one of the primary reasons that ACOs might not work is that some of the largest health insurers in the country, including Humana, United Healthcare and Cigna, already have announced plans to form their own ACOs. Insurers say they can play an important role in ACOs because they track and collect data on patients, which is critical for coordinating care and reporting on the results.  As Jenny Gold quoted in her NPR report, “This could just be HMO in drag.” These partnerships of primary-care and specialists doctors with hospitals and clinics might help to produce a model that, although directed toward Medicare, could also have a positive impact on all of U.S. health-care.

Obviously, both hospitals and physicians are worried about ACO’s because they represent CHANGE, but it is common knowledge that if something is NOT DONE, our health care system will crash and burn.   Think of this, providers would get paid more for keeping their patients healthy and out of the hospital. What a concept.

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Along the Way…Things Became Very Interesting

January 31st, 2011

Two years ago I began this new journey, but not until a few months ago did my work in consulting really begin to take shape in a way that could never have been predicted.

As the challenges of our present economic times have become increasingly daunting, my personal and professional journey has become even more dedicated to innovation and creativity. One goal has been to provide new alternatives to past practices that will create value for patients. This means making a contribution to saving and transforming lives, while producing cost savings and financial stability, and developing new markets to enable provider growth in their missions.

Olympic National Park, Port Angeles, WA - Nick Jacobs, FACHE - Healing Hospitals - SunStone Consulting

The driving force behind my exploration began with asking how we can begin to control those out of control expenses that are currently blurring the lines between continued care for our population, and rationing or elimination of services?  But, the answer(s) must enable us to continue to add healing opportunities for our patients at every turn.

Because my creative energies have always been focused on producing more ways to generate new monies for whatever organizations I have personally represented,  it seemed somewhat foreign to me to spend more time on fiscal issues than creative alternatives.  However, with literally millions of Baby Boomers coming of age each year, it was obvious that our entire culture is at risk both fiscally and socially. Consequently, after listening carefully to my peers, several opportunities presented themselves that would address all levels of these concerns.

Through the combination of their proprietary software and dozens of years of combined knowledge in the healthcare finance field, SunStone Consulting, LLC, spends each and every working day addressing the challenges of finding monies that should already have been captured by hospitals and physician practices, while also creating new opportunities that have heretofore not been explored. That’s where SunStone Management Resources comes into play.

SunStone Consulting - Nick Jacobs, FACHE

We have identified new companies, new entrepreneurs and new creatives who can not only improve healthcare, but also significantly improve the bottom line of those organizations willing to embrace their programs. One such company with whom we are partnering can increase Emergency Room productivity by as much as 35 to 50%.  They can also help do the same for cancer centers and operating rooms. They utilize robotic systems that communicate patient needs and simultaneously seek out the appropriate medical services required as soon as the patient is triaged. The patient’s condition and potential requirements are communicated to every individual who will or should have contact with them throughout their hospital stay.

We have also identified what I refer to as “no brainer” opportunities. By making otherwise locked fiscal percentages  a commodity, even small and medium sized organizations can save huge dollar amounts. How? By changing out only the electronic reading devices used hospital-wide. This simple change has resulted in huge fiscal savings for clients.

Add to examples like those above the introduction of  a new invention that, in the right hands, can help to extend some types of Stage 3B and Stage IV cancer patients’ lives from months to years through a relatively simple post-surgical procedure. Also consider the invention of new materials that would support bone growth, while virtually eliminating the need for casts or even slings. Imagine a series of protocols that have brought over 40 people out of deep, irreversible comas. Then, on a completely different path, consider having access to  the cumulative knowledge garnered from over a hundred million dollar investment in breast cancer care.  (This is about to be made available to small and medium sized hospitals across the world.)

These are but a sampling of  just some of the opportunities currently driving my passion in this new healthcare world order.

You may want to make a simple inquiry into what’s behind the innovative, practical, and incredible creations of the brilliant people doing this work.  It’s not just so many words on a page.  It is the future, and the future for you and your organization could be now.

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Finding the Cure…for Bullying

January 21st, 2011

No workplace bullying - Nick Jacobs - healinghospitals.comThis week, NBC’s Today Show featured another story about bullying. As I have have mentioned in previous posts here and elsewhere, I believe that bullying is the quintessential cancer on our lives in places of business, in the military, politics, and relationships of all types.  The good news – actually the very good news –  is that there has been some incredible work being performed on this topic through the efforts of Dr. Matt Masiello at my former place of employment, the Windber Research Institute in Windber, PA.  Grants through the Highmark Blue Cross Foundation of Pittsburgh have fueled this initial effort and the academic and quantitative analysis being done by Clemson University has documented this work.  I believe that this joint effort is a magnificent  example of what can be done to change the future course of events currently being controlled by bullies.

The Today Show story that I saw featured the Massachusetts school where, due to cyber-bullying, a young girl committed suicide last year.  Apparently, another girl is now having the same experience at the same school. With the help of programs like this comprehensive anti-bullying program, the former Secretary of Education from PA, Jerry Zahorchak, (now Superintendent of the Allentown PA school system), embraced the effort to quell and discourage this type of destructive behavior.  And the program, under the direction of Dr. Matt Masiello has successfully been introduced across the  entire State of PA. (Matt had started the Allegheny County’s Goods for Guns program in 1994, when he was the head of pediatric intensive care at Allegheny General Hospital. To date, this program is responsible for collecting more than 11,000 illegal guns from the streets of Pittsburgh.) Matt has had the same success with this anti-bullying program. Now, both Massachusetts and Maryland are looking into embracing this effort.

This anti-bullying program is based on a European program with which Dr. Masiello had become familiar.  This is a school system-wide effort that is very well documented and results in tremendous awareness and reduction of bullying at all grade levels.

The trainers bring a group of teachers and administrators together in the school system, and then “train the trainers” as to how this effort can become part of the philosophy of the school.  They start the training in the spring, typically launch the school wide effort in the fall and run it for at least a year. During that time, detailed records are kept measuring outcomes.

Matt Masiello, MD - Windber Research Institute - Nick Jacobs - Taking the Hell OUt of Healthcare

Matt Masiello, MD

Matt is a wonderful physician, a truly giving person and a saint of a man who is the only U.S. representative on the board of the World Health Organization’s Health Promoting Hospitals program. I hired him before I left Windber Research Institute, and he has worked tirelessly to address both this problem and the problems of childhood obesity.

The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (Olweus.org on the web, @Olweus on Twitter) has impacted more than 400 school districts and 20% of all school-aged children in Pennsylvania. It has also had up to a 50% reduction in student reports of bullying …and bullying others.

For more information, please contact me or Dr. Matthew Masiello at the Windber Research Institute.

Michael & Marisa’s anti-bullying song – “The Same”

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Wikileaks and Transparency

December 9th, 2010

LONDON (Dec. 8th) —Held without bail in Wandsworth prison, Julian Assange has been deprived of his trusty laptop, so the WikiLeaks founder can’t supply an inside scoop on life behind bars. But if the pro-transparency campaigner could leak just one word about conditions in Britain’s biggest jail, he would probably settle for “cramped.”   (via AOL NEWS)

Wikileaks' Julian Assange at TED - Nick Jacobs, FACHE

At my last CEO position, there were about 650 employees on the hospital side and another 50 at the research institute, but in the position that I held as the Chief Communications officer immediately before that,  there were over 4,500 employees.  Any one of those employees could  potentially have become PFC Bradley Manning.  Manning is the young man being accused of leaking millions of pieces of information to Assange’s Wikileaks. Every disgruntled, well-intentioned and sometimes naive employee who either had an “axe to grind” or who simply embraced a philosophy of openness would have potentially presented a major problem to any organization that was built around secrecy at all costs.

In my 20+ years as a hospital administrator, there were hundreds no, thousands of incidents that could have been “leaked” to family, friends and the media regarding incidents that may or may not have been problematic.  My memory goes immediately to an online discussion forum where the death of Congressman John P. Murtha was being dissected by a group of Bethesda Residents;  specifically, young U.S. Navy physicians who were venting and expressing their fears regarding their “being held responsible for the death of this powerful Congressman.”  The amazing thing to me was the it was a running dialogue that was, yes, online. The discussion topic thread was etitled Did we kill Congressman Murtha? The anonymous user names went through case-by-case analysis of other undeserving patients who did not emerge with their lives from surgeries at the hospital over the previous weeks and months.  These were individuals who, according to their estimations, should have. Imagine my shock when I came upon the casual page which, at minimum represented a potential HIPAA violation.

Well, it’s all about transparency, my friends, and this movement is only the beginning.  Unlike Kevorkian’s efforts which were almost single-handed, this is a movement, a viral, well-funded, philosophical movement that feels like “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” And it’s “coming to a theater near you.”   Not unlike the content of the sensitive documents that have been appearing online recently where peoples’ lives are at stake,  hospitals and physician offices face many of the same realities every day.  How many people, like PFC Manning, may not be truly insane or wish to destroy the government, but simply believe that their assistance in exposing the truth will “set us free?

Transparent Butterfly - Nick Jacobs, FACHE - Healing HospitalsAs business leaders not many decades ago, we were urged to treat every e-mail and every comment as if it was being reported by Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes.  Of course, not many of us did, nor could we stick to that difficult rule of communicating, but think of the potential ramifications if Mr. Wallace had been as potentially ever-present as Mr. Assange.

What is my formula for success?  It’s always been the same.  Be as transparent as you can possibly be. Seems simple, but try it sometime. Don’t break the law. Don’t give out information that is inappropriate as in personally destructive regarding individuals, but be as open about your operation as you can possibly be.  Encourage an environment of openness when it comes to issues, mistakes, etc. and the frustration levels will go down, down, down…sometimes to the point of having employees telling you, “I wish I didn’t know so much.  Life was easier when I was in the dark.”  That’s when you’ll know you are beginning to provide a truly transparent business environment.

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Running to a Hospital

June 13th, 2010

Periodically, it brings me comfort to return to my home base, and that is a place where not enough of my former peers have still journeyed.  One of my more spiritual friends always stops my conversations by saying, “Nick, you need to let go, and ask to be directed to the place where you can do the most good.”  She is talking about spirituality, believing in the universe, allowing destiny to present itself to you.  Truthfully, I spend a lot of my time being frustrated, wondering why others can’t see the light regarding such simple issues as: Transparency, Kindness, Patient and Employee-centeredness.

U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary, Hon. Eric Shinseki

U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary, Hon. Eric K. Shinseki

Interestingly, the largest public health system, the U.S. Veterans Administration (which has 17,272 beds and 153 hospitals) began their journey of “change” about five years ago when several of their administrators first approached Planetree.  I’ve been writing about, involved in, and literally living Planetree for decades now, and my passion for this philosophy of care has not waned.  It is about humanizing the healthcare experience, being transparent, centering your focus on employees, staff, and patients in ways that have not been considered even before the United States universities produced more attorneys than physicians.

Unfortunately, our business-minded organizations continue to look upon kindness as weakness, upon transparency as stupidity, upon patient and employee centered activities as pandering, and the price that we pay because of this archaic thinking is very high for all of us.

So, why would the VA get involved?  They “saw the light,” and the light was pretty darn bright.  When you look at the statistics regarding infections, lengths of stay, litigation, and patient and employee satisfaction, there  appears to be no decision.  Of course we can achieve several of these “dashboard” goals by producing human widgets, by treating people like objects, by taking over entire geographies and making sure that no one has a choice about anything, and we can continue to rack up profits in the billions, but are we really doing our  job?

Generations of Valor - WW II meets IraqThe VA thought not and started their journey, hospital by hospital, toward a kinder, gentler world.  Will they be successful with a culture bred out of military medicine?  Can they change a system that has long since been openly criticized as broken?  I think they can and they will, and with pending legislation that will permit our military and retired military personnel to “seek care where it is best delivered,” it will be interesting to see how well they do.

If you are in hospital administration and have little or no competition, ask yourself what would happen if your new competition allowed the patients to access their medical records; if  loved ones were invited to stay and become part of care giving teams; if there was 24 hour a day 7 day a week visiting hours; if employees were always treated with diginty; respected, rewarded, and recognized for their work;  if patients were always at the center of their own care?

Hopefully, someday, the masses will get it, and we will go from treating “organs” to treating people; we will focus on prevention not cleaning up train wrecks; we will embrace kindness, openness, transparency, healing and respect; and finally, we will acknowledge that the value of a human being is not based upon the value of his or her estate.  When that happens your patients will be “Running to a hospital” …your hospital.

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Interesting Words to Think About

September 25th, 2009

The time has come to realize that the old habits, the old arguments, are irrelevant to the challenges faced by our people. They lead nations to act in opposition to the very goals that they claim to pursue — and to vote, often in this body, against the interests of their own people.  They build up walls between us and the future that our people seek, and the time has come for those walls to come down.  Together, we must build new coalitions that bridge old divides — coalitions of different faiths and creeds; of north and south, east, west, black, white, and brown.

The choice is ours.  We can be remembered as a generation that chose to drag the arguments of the 20th century into the 21st; that put off hard choices, refused to look ahead, failed to keep pace because we defined ourselves by what we were against instead of what we were for.  Or we can be a generation that chooses to see the shoreline beyond the rough waters ahead; that comes together to serve the common interests of human beings, and finally gives meaning to the promise embedded in the name given to this institution:  the United Nations. (President Barack Obama’s Speech to the United Nations)

Obama Speech UN 2009

Interestingly enough, there were 22 years in a row when I could have made the same speech (Okay, it would not have been rendered  as eloquently as the President’s, but the content would have been similar.)  The most disconcerting thing about this statement is that I was referring to the internal stakeholders of many hospitals.  One of my favorite statements during those years because of all of the infighting was that “We are not the enemy.”

An enormous amount of energy is expended in almost every healthcare organization on internal power struggles.  In many cases these struggles revolve around issues relating to money.  Questions like “Should the radiologist or the cardiologist be permitted to perform one particular test?”  Turf battles over procedures always seem to be part of the equation.  Other struggles revolve around perceived power relating to whatever positions are held because someone wants more control of larger pieces of the budget.

Power, control, greed?  All of these traits are part of the human experience, but when an organization expends much of its energy on these issues, the result is wasted time, wasted resources, wasted anguish, and, in many cases, lower quality outcomes.

Watching old movies of workers in factories during World War II have always fascinated me because we, as a country, had found a common enemy toward which we could focus our angst.  The fact that health care never seemed to be able to embrace illness as the common enemy always created intrigue for me. Yes, we would rally and work together when emergencies hit, but the other daily activities became somewhat mundane and boring, and our instinct seemed to be to revert to power, control, and greed.

Maybe, just maybe, we could find a way to marshal the medical staff, employees, and administration, the volunteers, and patient families to work together every day in every way to create an actual healing environment where patients can be surrounded with the energy of love, kindness, respect, dignity, and healing.  Maybe this environment could be the goal of every hospital executive, and they could begin and end each day by focusing on setting the example for the creation of a healing environment.

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Non-traditional Thinking Pays Off

July 19th, 2009
health_montageWho would ever consider having 24-hour ’round-the-clock family visiting in a hospital; beds for loved ones to stay overnight; deli-style counters on the patient floors to serve hot meals to loved ones, patients, and staff; popcorn machines in the lobbies; bread baking in the hallways; live music, massage, aroma, pet, humor, and drumming therapy; decorative fountains; and special mammography gowns for modesty? We did, and that was over 12 years ago. Our patient population tripled through the emergency room. The budget tripled, and the number of employees almost tripled.

At a lecture I once attended, Dr. Leland Kaiser said, Give me the creative leader every time. They will always win over the traditional one.”

Well, yesterday, I met a creative leader. This young business entrepreneur was only about 34 years old. He owned a construction business that specialized in concrete. You know, poured basements, slabs, sidewalks, and driveways. When we discussed the current business climate, he smiled and said, “I’ve done okay.” Well, we all know that the construction business is literally on the skids right now and has been since the crash last year. NPR news ran a segment on Thursday about the 12,000 new government jobs being created in the Washington DC/Northern VA area. Seemed like good news until they said that these jobs represented only about a third of the more than 30,000 construction jobs that had been lost to date there.

When I asked our young rock star how he did it, he smiled and said, “I got this idea.” The number of times that those words have come out of my mouth is virtually immeasurable. Yet someone else has later described the related actions as an accidentally brilliant strategy. My response to him was, “So, what was the idea?” He smiled and said, “As soon as I got a bill, I paid it, that day, that minute, that instant.” As an employee of an accounting-type firm, my mind began to race with the traditional thoughts of “Oh, my gosh, how foolish. He could be getting interest on his money for 30, 60, or even 90 days, and he is paying his bills when they arrive?,” I thought to myself.

He then began to explain the outcome of his decision. “My suppliers love me, and because they don’t have to add in late fees, collection costs, lost interest, or simply lost money from late or uncollectable accounts receivable, this practice got their attention. Because they, in his words, “loved him,” he was able to negotiate better pick-up times for the concrete. This made him more flexible and productive as the trucks arrived at 8:00 AM with the morning’s first load of cement. The suppliers were also willing to negotiate lower prices for him than they could for the other contractors with whom he competed. Why? Because he paid them promptly every time.

He then went on to say that because his costs were lower than the other contractors, he could lower his prices to the builders with whom he wanted to do serious business, and, instead of the six or eight regulars that kept him going in the good times, he was now able to attract about 28 builders who wanted to work with him because he was on time, did good work, and, of course, was less expensive.

So, when he told me that he was doing okay, it meant that none of his employees had lost their jobs, his income had not gone down, and his business was virtually booming in an economy that has meant bankruptcy for more traditional construction oriented businesses. The really great news, however, is that this guy is a long lost, distant cousin about whom I had never known until just a month ago. So, I guess creativity runs in the family. Oh, yeah, and he’s a heck of a musician, too. Seems like Leland was right.

A Blueprint for Transformational Change: Nick Jacobs’ 2009 Graduate School address at St. Francis University’s 2009 commencement ceremonies

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The Health Care Reality

May 15th, 2009

1979 was the year in Johnstown, Pennsylvania when I decided that it was time to leave teaching and transition into business.  For those of you who don’t remember that year, it was the beginning of some serious financial challenges for our country, but it was also two years after the Johnstown Flood of ’77, and there was an unemployment rate of 19.5% in Cambria County, PA.

1979 Rolling Stone cover Blues Brothers SNL Dan Ackroyd John BelushiIn 1980, when I accepted a job with a then bankrupt nonprofit organization in Somerset, PA, what had been a booming coal industry went into the skids. My house mortgage was about the same as the unemployment rate, 19%.  The job that I took was in the arts and Ronald Reagan was interested in cutting funding to the National Endowment for the Arts.

In 1985, my new job was with a tourism agency, and that was the year that then-PA Governor Casey cut funding to tourism.

In 1988, when I entered healthcare, it was clear that Johnstown could no longer support four hospitals, and the next decade and a half resulted in the closing of two (and almost three) of the four hospitals in that area.

Turn the clock forward to last October, when I announced my decision to become a healthcare consultant.  The stock market crashed, eight of every ten hospitals stopped, postponed, or scaled back needed capital projects, 58% of hospitals are now reporting  increases in uninsured patients using the emergency departments, 48% of hospitals have cut staff, and 80% have reported cutting expenses that include consultants.

As a consultant, the first thing I would tell anyone is that “No matter how bad things appear to be, you can do it.”

  • Our successes as a teacher continue to remain evident as former students ranging in age from 38 to 58 continue to remind me of great memories of our time together.
  • The arts organization became the largest and most successful rural arts organization east of the Mississippi.
  • The Convention Bureau went from almost closed to the fifth largest agency in the State, and most of you have tracked the successes that we experienced at Windber.

Not unlike the little engine that could, we focused on the positive, forgot about the negative, and never dealt with “Mr. In-between.”

roosevelt_action400

There are those who approach life cautiously, carefully, and very conservatively, and then there are those of us who drink from that same cup in big gulps and dream about how things could be rather than how they are.  There are those who are afraid of failure, and those of us who embrace failure because we know that it is getting us closer to more dramatic successes.

The only boundaries that we have are between our ears.

Because the future is a design function. Let me close this blog post with the ending from my commencement address to the graduate students of St. Francis University (with the help once again of Dr. Leland Kaiser):

  • Nothing has to be the way it is.
  • We can invent (or prevent) our future, because all limitations are self imposed.
  • We can empower ourselves to create a new world.
  • Reframe any limitations to become opportunities because…
  • Tremendous limitations breed success. They open doors.

So, as we design our future, remember that we should not work to create what people will like, but instead work to create what people will love!

…and we will know success beyond our wildest dreams.

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Focus on the Positive

April 29th, 2009

Okay, who wants to be the first one to have written about a pandemic?  Unfortunately, I know way too much about this stuff.  Guess it’s that old hospital CEO mindset.  Prepare for the worst, and expect it.  Well, let’s all pray that this thing settles down before more people die.  My friend, Dr. Matt Masiello wrote an E-mail today that could probably help a lot of people.  A public health message with a level of calm urgency.

Dr. Matt MasielloBased on the cumulative experience of the scientific and health promotion/disease prevention staff at WRI, we began a more active approach in  preparedness then what had been recommended by WHO/CDC and the local EMS. We feel that with WHO now raising the alert level to 5 our actions were appropriate. May I suggest the following.

1.    Prepare and distribute a letter to parents asking them to keep their children home if they have a cough, fever, headache. If someone in the family has the same signs and symptoms the children should also stay home until  the illness by the family member is confirmed not to be Swine flu.

2.    Place a small table with sanitizer bottles at the entrance ways of the school buildings.

3.    Encourage staff to carry on their person the small hand sanitizers.

4.     Instruct your teachers to review with the students advice on handwashing and use of the sanitizers. Teachers should remind students throughout the day of the importance of handwashing as well as keeping their hands away from their face and the importance of coughing into their sleeves. Wash/sanitize hands afterwards. I would encourage formal, scheduled trips to the BR to wash hands and when ever necessary.

5.    Place the attached sign in key locations and encourage staff and familes to take them and post at home as a reminder. Wash hands prior to and returning from work/school/play.

6.    Get plenty of rest, eat well and exercise.

7.    Open windows for better movement of air, when and if possible.

8.    Minimize social gatherings. The canceling of social events may come as  a formal recommendation via the CDC in the very near future.

Matt

So, that’s the official word from the United States’ representative to the World Health Organization.

Now, onto life.  Last night we completed a list of services that we are helping to provide to hospitals, schools, hotels, newspapers,  businesses and anyone else that might be interested.  Rather than list each business individually, let me list their services, products, and work, and, if you’re interested, give me a call.

  • Technology Solutions for Government
  • Sophisticated market research
  • Physician billing/Pre-certification and approval of payments for doc offices.
  • Telemedicine and medical device marketing analysis and launch
  • Food Services for hospitals and long term care centers
  • Education Programs and Leadership Solutions
  • Continuing Medical Education for physicans and nurses
  • State and Federal Lobbyists and Business Development Experts
  • Personal Healthcare and Corporate Wellness
  • Crisis Response Communications
  • Construction solutions (REIT)
  • HR and House Wide Quality System for Job Descriptions
  • Translation services (Contract pending)
  • Specialized Cancer Laboratory Services
  • Removal and disposal of hazardous waste, a green company
  • Economic Development and ECAP green initiative
  • The Doctors’ Doctor – Physician office mergers, acquisitions and general business operations consulting, and Hospital Physician strategic planning

Obviously, each line represents a company that we represent, and even more obviously, SunStone Consulting is your answer for all of the financial challenges that hospitals face.

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NickJacobs.org???

April 2nd, 2009

Let me open this blog with a little housekeeping chore. Because I’ve retired from being a hospital president (Yes, they replaced me with two great people, count ‘em, two.) , I’d like to change the name of this thing. It’s not that I’ve established a P-Diddy-type Twitter following where 100,000 human beings are waiting with baited breath to see what my next move will be, it just doesn’t seem right to keep calling myself a hospital president. We know who reads this thing, and we are grateful to our loyal, talented, and brilliant followers. We also know that we can link the old blog names to get you here. So, regardless of what you typed, or what gets Googled, our genius social media maven & webmaster, Michael Russell, can help to bring you home to this site.

Okay, so as a transformational advisor, a broker of sorts, most people with whom we have consulted have described me as a person who can fix things that are broken before they actually break. Maybe we should call it the “Break it if it’s not already fixed” blog. I’d love it if it was a name that would generate millions of hits and companies would fight to advertise on it.

My first thought was to use nickjacobs in the title because there is a Nick Jacobs on Facebook who teaches Aboriginal people in Australia, and he seems popular. There is another Nick Jacobs who is a professional organist, and one who is an athlete. There’s a Nick Jacobs who is a consultant and another a paramedic in London, one who had a blog who is a yachtsman, there’s my son, the commercial real estate broker, and finally, there’s a Nick Jacobs who does pornographic movies who is not my son. Actually, that Nick Jacobs’ followers would probably be the most disappointed by this blog.

Since the .com version of nick jacobs was already taken by some guy in England, we captured nickjacobs.org, and that will work for right now.

If you have any ideas, however, that you think would really rock the blogspere, let us know and we’ll check with our domain registrar to see if it is available. In fact, if you are the winner of a Name Nick’s Blog Contest, I’d be happy to consult for free BY PHONE for at least one hour of brainstorming with you about the topic of your choice: music, healthcare, proteomics, teaching, PR/Marketing, the travel business, or even physician recruitment.

Remember, Hospital Impact is already taken, and, because my last three consulting jobs have been with a newspaper, a nonprofit arts oragnization, and a chain of hotels, we don’t want to think too restrictively. Gotta earn a little money, too.

When we ran the breast center, we found that the website got more hits than anyone could imagine. The problem was that the readers were mostly thirteen-year-old boys who probably weren’t too interested in running a hospital. After Miss America had visited us, the hits went up exponentially when those two searches were combined. Somehow, I don’t think that Nick Jacobs’ Breast Center for Miss America would probably get me the type of following I’m currently hoping to attract. On the other hand?

A very good friend recently asked me to write a brief bio about what my new life is like, and it struck me that it is very much like my old life but without any restrictions. This is what I wrote:

While teaching junior high school instrumental music in the early 1970’s, Nick Jacobs made an extraordinary discovery. He learned that, by empowering his students and surrounding them with positive influences, he no longer was providing a service or even an experience for them.

What this entirely unique teaching style resulted in was a method for helping to transform students. By providing with both passion and commitment the tools needed by them to undertake their journey, his involvement with the students became a means of dramatically helping them to make whatever positive life changes they were seeking.

It was during that early period in his career that he also discovered that this formula could work to positively change lives in almost any aspect of living as he ran an arts organization, a convention bureau, and finally a hospital and research institute.

Since that time he has dedicated his personal work to helping others make their lives better, and that is exactly what he is doing in his position as an international executive consultant with SunStone Consulting, LLC.

Maybe that will give you something to chew on? Okay, something on which to chew.

SunStone Consulting. With more than 20 years experience in executive hospital leadership, Nick has an acknowledged reputation for innovation and patient-centered care approaches to health and healing.

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