Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Intro to SIIA--and notes on Michael Hansen/ Elsevier Health Sciences on Counter-Intuitive Strategies for Growth

This is my second year attending the SIIA Information Industry Summit--one of the most interesting conferences that I've had the pleasure of attending. It's always an interesting group of people--folks that are shaping what's going on in the world of content production.

Now, content production isn't something that crosses people's minds when it comes to publishing--we think more of journalism, or book publishing, or anything that's b2c or public facing. Yet in academic and business circles, "content production" is a big deal.

I'm watching Michale Hansen CEO of Elsevier talking about Galilleo, who was first publshed by Elsevier--speaking of course strengths and what a publishing co. can bring to the outside world. Elsivier's strength is info on health sciences.

Galilleo story Hansen's relayed is that sometimes one has to think outside the box and be counter-intuitive to know what's going to happen/change, etc.

Hansen says: One of these is government regulation--perspective on most regulation is bad. But healthcare regulations have been good: speaking of the FDA and the effect it had on pharmaceuticals (that we don't get unintentionally poisoned....)

Hansen's not going in the direction of a discussion on healthcare reform--but he agrees with most of us that there is a need for reform (esp. when we are in a "freelance economy"--my take on it. freelance economy needs nat'l healthcare to survive.)

Hansen believes there's a crisis of information, not just a crisis of costs. People are "injured" because they are getting the wrong perscriptions. Somebody didn't have the right information, and therefore, got the wrong info.

Some stats: there's a 33% chance that, if you have a chronic disease, you might not get treated according to the right protocols. There's also a 3-5% chance that you might have an "adverse event" at a hospital (?!?!) Hansen believes that these problems are a crisis of information--that if hospitals had the correct and up to date info, these things wouldn't happen.

But we don't have the "pipes" for an exchange of info between hospitals and doctors--even though we have the technology. (this is true!)

The got. have determined that there are "never events": events that are preventable and shouldn't happen, such as bedsores. But because of "never events" if this happens to you, your insurance might not pay for treatment....

As an info provider, Hansen sees Elsevir as needing to provide info, at point of care, for providers to act on. Yet, physicians don't have the time (approx. 6 mins per patient!) The task is: how to get this info to physicians so that they can consult online resources that have the right information. Elsevir has a new service that brings info to point of care....

Yet in the health info providers say this is not a good thing--that providing this info might make the info provider libel. Act counter-intuitive and provide the info anyway is Hansen's way of looking at it.

Also, provide the customer with what they need: with hospital budgets going down, how can they afford info services like Elsevir. Elsevir did an audit of Trinity Hospital's info services and found where they could reduce costs for Trinity--this was a counter-intuitive move, as they sometimes had to recommend competitor products that are cheaper.

Hansen notes that many companies that say communication is paramount to them, don't necessarily share as much information as they should. Yet this is the time when employees are most vulnerable and in need of information. That companies might counter a sense of loss of control by providing more information to its employees--not withholding it to protect the company's reputation or fear of employee reactions. Hansen relates a story of allowing employees to help figure out what budget items needed to be cut, that these things help companies to survive the downturn *and* succeeding in the production: that loyalty of employees and customers along with developing products, will keep a company vital when things are going well for the company (when many companies get complacent.)

My take: this is interesting vis journalism--mostly as it concerns local newspapers. Can they be counter-intuitive? or are so many of the local chains too highly leveraged that they cannot do anything counter-intuitive? I wonder how an individual in the newspaper industry might be able to convince a newspaper to do something counter-intuitive.

Likewise with marketing: In many smaller businesses where there's "no-time" to solve problems of marketing with social media. It makes me wonder if the resources of the business are not being allocated properly so that the right person within the company can take on the execution of social media (and I don't mean staff--staff in a small business might be the right person to execute, but should staff be responsible for the strategy? probably not.)

It's always tough listening to a CEO talk--they are often really excited about their businesses, and it can be tough to separate the info from the pitch. Yet sometimes even within pitches there is some good information. It's getting to that kernel of truth that can make them worth a listen.

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