The NHS too often looks to the US for inspiration, encouraged by a shared language and the size of the American healthcare system.
So it is with slightly hypocritical feelings that we direct you to our interview with Paul Levy, chief executive of Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre.
But Mr Levy’s story is worth reading for two very good reasons. The first is the way in which he tackled the cultural issues that were threatening to bring down the operation - the result of a merger between two very different hospitals.
The second and even more significant reason is his inspirational commitment to transparency. Boston healthcare is savagely competitive, so Mr Levy’s strategy of publishing the centre’s clinical outcomes and infection rates was risky to say the least. He did not even do it to attract business - some of the data may drive it away. He did it to build the “creative tension” needed to drive the organisation forward.
Transparency is now a way of life at Beth Israel and for Paul Levy. His blog is required reading for how a chief executive should communicate. His openness has also given him the power to drive change against some fierce and sometimes personal criticism. His approach is that it is very difficult for vested interests to press their case if the debate is held in the open.
As the NHS enters the age of transparency it is worth one more look across the Atlantic.
Turnaround: how transparency and openness helped rebuild one organisation
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An American Dream we should believe in