Quotes that snagged my eye

John Taylor: November 19, 20123 Comments

When it comes to providing Readers Digest-quality sound bites for media, hospital execs and caregivers have gotten much better -- even when it comes back to bite them. One of my favorites came about 16 years ago when, as a Fresno Bee reporter, I asked a certain Valley hospital CEO whether his leadership style was costing him the loyalty of his staff. His reply – If you want loyalty, buy a dog – wound up on placards waved by picketers. Not long after, his job went away.

Here are some quotes that snared me recently. One's from an interview with Diana Dooley, head of California’s Health and Human Services Agency and former exec at Children’s Hospital Central California (interviewed by the California HealthCare Foundation). And others gleaned from a Fierce Healthcare e-newsletter.

  • “For the banks, my debt is their asset. And for health care, my illness is their (hospitals) asset ... How do we incentivize people so that they’re paid for my health, rather than my illness. That’s very hard.” – Dooley, driving implementation of federal health reform in California.
  • “It’s not ‘Big Brother’ to foster health. It’s not that we say to an employee, ‘You can’t bring a sugared beverage on campus and drink it.’ We just don’t want to be an enabler for bad health habits.” – Cleveland Clinic Chief Wellness Officer Michael Roizen; the clinic banned smoking and sugared drinks five years ago.
  • “The term I like to use for it is  ‘rescue care.’ And it’s an attitude as much as anything. If it might work, let’s do it. It’s the hope for the miracle. But maybe only 1 in 100 will get the miracle, and the other 99 are going to get a little bit of harm at massive expense.” --- Dr. Brent James, Intermountain Healthcare chief quality officer, suggesting we change our mindset that more care means better care.
  • “Imagine an intoxicated person working in a hospital setting, and you’ll have a better understanding of the dangers of being fatigued.” --- Frederick Southwick, manager of quality and safety initiatives for the University of Florida and Shands Health Care System, referring to risks sleepy physicians pose to patients.
  • “It only takes one cold meal tray or a roll of the eyes by a staff member to derail the patient experience.” --- Jeremy Tucker, medical director at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in Maryland, detailing the need to change hospital culture to improve patient outcomes.

3 responses to Quotes that snagged my eye


I remember that quote, and although I'm a dog lover, it was an offensive thing to say! Alot of my family worked for Henry Ford himself, so I was taught to work hard, be honest and loyal to your employer, and they'll take care of you! I know times have changed, and we have to add flexibility into the equation too, but I still would like to think that Community appreciates our loyalty!!! !


I so agree with the 'rolled eye' quote. My one and only child is almost 20, but the one thing I remember about the pre-natal care was the delight I had when I first saw him on a sonogram. Then the tech (from a different health care system) made a remark that made it clear it was routine and humdrum to her. Kind of put a damper on the experience.

It seems easy for people to

It seems easy for people to forget that our actions don't happen inside a vacuum.

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