The hospital we use just dedicated a new wing. For months the job site was a maze of people, duct, and tools. It cost $145 million. There’s a plaque displaying the name of the architect, the contractor, the mayor, and the rest of the adults who made it happen. While it was being built there were numerous permits, certifications, and sign-offs taped to the building. Their purpose was to ensure the public that the adults were keeping an eye on things. A phase of work couldn’t be started until the prior phase had all the requisite sign-offs.
Those in authority had to be licensed. Had to be certified as qualified.
They have another project underway. One that costs more than the new wing and impacts more people. This one doesn’t have a blueprint. There are no building permits. No certifications. No licensed professionals. You can’t even see it. There are no hard-hatted workers. No foreman. You know who’s in charge of the project? A hospital executive—prior experience—zero. Has he ever built one before? No. Does he know what to do when he encounters risks, pitfalls? No. There is one other person running the show—a vendor—that should let everyone get a good night’s sleep.
Would anyone let this same executive be in charge of building a new wing? Of course not. Why then do we not employ the same standards for what will turn out to be the most expensive and far reaching non-capital project that the hospital will ever undertake? If you think you know, please share your answer.
By the way, I asked one of those executives how it was that he happened to be selected to lead the EHR project. “I forgot to duck,” he quipped. I guess that’s as good a reason as any.