Matthew Holt

Management guru Tom Peters likes Health 2.0, Wennberg, PLM, Millenson, but not the medical establishement

I didn’t know that Tom Peters (the In Search of Excellence guy) knew or cared about health care, but he certainly does.

In just one blog posting he reveals his impatience (putting it mildly) with the general level of doctors skills, his approval of Michael Millenson’s and the Dartmouth group’s work on medical quality variation, and he shows that he likes Health 2.0 and PatientsLikeMe — not least because he thinks that the medical establishment is reacting negatively to them!

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4 replies »

  1. I would not underestimate Tom Peter’s knowledge of health care or his insights but in my opinion his blog post is as much about the need for patients to “grow up” as it is to the dire health care industry. Patients need to take responsibility for their care – pure and simple. We have for too long blindly trusted the doctor, the hospital without gathering knowledge ourselves. It is time for us (health care consumers) to start using the tools available to us to be a partner with our medical professionals. Medial professionals should be encouraging patients to visit sites like, take advantage of tools like, and study healthcare information sites. Tom Peter’s is spot on.

  2. I find it interesting that the so called stewards of the industry persist in the face of years of consistent failure to manage quality and control costs. Roll the clock back twenty to thirty years, as we still deal with the same issues, recycled today as if they were somehow new considerations.
    The only thing that changes in health care management and policy circles are acronyms….from PSROs, HSAs and TEFRA CMPs to the current alphabet soup of HDHPs, CDHPs, LBPs, vs. PHOs, MSOs, IDNs, and the ancient GPWWs.
    Non of the pricing, quality, or administrative efficiencies have been removed from the health care equation. If anything, it’s gotten worse and the same old talking heads talk on….
    Yet nothing gets done.

  3. Tom Peters recycles other peoples’ thoughts, adds lots of exclamation points, and then is ultimately proven wrong more often than not.
    His comment here that the push back from the “health care establishment” is evidence they’re “up to something good” is just stupid. Mindless contrarianism is no better than mindless conformity. He should do the hard hard work and examine the concerns, as Maggie Mahar and Niko Karvounis have done so well.
    Needless medical variation is a big problem, for sure. It needs serious attention. But no one’s persuasively demonstrated how that will be resolved by Health 2.0, and patients know it. Fewer people use public ratings than ever before.

  4. Wow! He actually said “the guy in the white coat is flying blind half the time”!
    I’ve always admired Tom Peters’ approach to management and business competitiveness in general. He’s not afraid to tell it like it is. He probably doesn’t know as much about healthcare as he thinks he does, but I do think it would be great to bring him into the mix to help shake things up. There’s too much status quo and resistance to change in healthcare. The delays in implementation of the NPI system and the new Medicare ABN forms are prime examples.