When traveling I love to read USA Today. While it may not have all of the in-depth reporting of other newspapers, I still think they cover the major issues in a way that I can read the paper over breakfast and take in the day’s news. Yesterday, on page 2, I read an article “Meet the 42 funding the elections.” It’s no secret that a few dozen wealthy folks (almost all men) account for over a third of super PAC donations.
It got me to thinking about healthcare and who is running our businesses and making decisions – a few representing the many. So, who are these few? Unfortunately, these “few” are, again, mostly men (see yesterday’s blog post about more women achieving higher status in healthcare organizations), who come from middle to upper class households and who have had access to food, shelter, education, etc. I’m not saying these people shouldn’t be in their positions – but I am saying that people who have decision making power should reach out, talk to and listen to people they are representing. For example, people running pharmaceutical companies should talk to patients who have the disease(s) their company develops products for. People running insurance companies should meet with some of their members and better understand decisions and trade-offs people make when choosing their healthcare coverage.
Things will not change overnight; however, walking a mile in someone else’s shoes can work wonders. The more you understand your customers’ and stakeholders’ needs, the better services and products you can provide. So, while there may always be a few representing the many – the few could do a better job.