New Marketplace
Clip
The Music of Medicine: Orchestrating Better Care (02:56)

When cardiologist Eugene Braunwald, who loved classical music, visited the Mayo Clinic, he said, “We have a fantastic string quartet. They have an orchestra.”

“He was giving the message that we might feel jealous and we might have something to learn from that. How would that comment go over with your respective organizations?” asks Tom Lee.

Emme Deland, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, responded in concert. “We actually hired an orchestra to come and play for us in front of all of our senior leadership to listen to how they work together to play — there were 90 of them — to see what they did to make sure they were in concert and coordinated as a demonstration of the kind of work that we need to do,” she says. In the words, “we are napkins, searching to be a tablecloth,” Deland adds that her team recognizes the need to be more coordinated, and that they’re taking steps to get there.

“We have an accountable care organization that we started, and we are part-owners with our two schools. I think it’s a significant step forward to the recognition that we need to work together and we need to be more of an orchestra than a string quartet,” Deland says.

Jeff Balser, President and CEO at Vanderbilt Medical Center, agrees, and makes an important point — that the Mayo Clinic functions so well like an orchestra because it’s been practicing for a long time.

“Great orchestras don’t just form and sound wonderful in a half a year. They practice for years and years before they really sound good,” says Balser. He adds that academic medical centers “now have religion about this” and are starting to work toward functioning more like an orchestra. But, he adds, the country needs to have a little bit of patience.

“We’re moving large aircraft carriers in a very much different direction than they’ve functioned for probably for 150 years, and that will take time,” Balser says. “We will get better and better at this. And I think we’re inexorably moving in the right direction.”

From the NEJM Catalyst event New Risk, New Business Models held in Boston, October 6, 2016.

More From New Marketplace
New Risk, New Business Models

Provider Rating Systems Can and Should Be Better

Which is better: to pretend we know little when in fact we know much, or to pretend we know much when in fact we know little?

New Risk, New Business Models

The Committed Perspective — Policy Principles for Regional Health Plans

When we say “committed,” we mean “in it for the long haul.”

New Risk, New Business Models

What U.S. Hospitals Can Still Learn from India’s Private Heart Hospitals

Cost-cutting lessons are clear, so what stands in our way?

New Risk, New Business Models

How NYP Used Its Innovation Stack to Launch a Telehealth Program

NewYork-Presbyterian uses a structured program for developing innovation. The first project was the development and launch of a comprehensive telehealth offering in less than a year.

New Risk, New Business Models

Good Riddance to Big Insurance Mergers

If there is any silver lining, it’s that other insurers might learn from blocked mergers and devote more energy to growing by offering superior value, rather than by swallowing rivals.

New Risk, New Business Models

Massachusetts Hospitals Seek to Get Larger to Shrink Costs

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Lahey Health, and New England Baptist Hospital propose to merge to gain market heft. What will be the impact on costs in one of the nation’s most expensive health care markets?

My Favorite Slide: Surprising Mortality for Some Americans

Call to action: Survival statistics for a slice of middle-aged white people in the U.S. are uniquely troubling.

New Risk, New Business Models

Focusing on High-Cost Patients — The Key to Addressing High Costs?

A focus on high-cost patients may not only fail to contain health care spending, but it may also help to entrench the status quo.

New Risk, New Business Models

Improving Hospital Incentives with Better Cost Data

Hospitals’ existing cost data could be used to substantially increase the accuracy of the Medicare payment rates for inpatient hospital care.

New Risk, New Business Models

Success and Failure in the Insurance Exchanges

Efforts to reform or replace the ACA should proceed with the knowledge that highly publicized market exits are a poor and probably inaccurate signal of a failing market.

Connect

A weekly email newsletter featuring the latest actionable ideas and practical innovations from NEJM Catalyst.

Learn More »

Topics

Bundled Payments

31 Articles

Reading List: Amy Compton-Phillips

NEJM Catalyst Care Redesign Theme Leader Amy Compton-Phillips weighs in on the most influential and…

Reading List: Rushika Fernandopulle

NEJM Catalyst Thought Leader Rushika Fernandopulle weighs in on the most influential and inspiring texts…

Quality Management

94 Articles

Reading List: Rushika Fernandopulle

NEJM Catalyst Thought Leader Rushika Fernandopulle weighs in on the most influential and inspiring texts…

Insights Council

Have a voice. Join other health care leaders effecting change, shaping tomorrow.

Apply Now