Live: ACHE Congress 2008 - Chicago

I'll be blogging from ACHE this week.

After attending Health 2.0 in sunny San Diego, the annual congress of the American College of Healthcare Executives, titled "Redefining the Healthcare Landscape," provides a stark contrast.

Health 2.0 is charging ahead and changing the way the healthcare establishment connects with consumers. ACHE IS the establishment.

The good thing is both parties, the staid, slow-moving current establishment as well as the shock-me-with-high-tech Health 2.0, realize that the landscape is changing.

This convention is 'old school' healthcare.

I'm the only one I've seen blogging live from any session. Q&As after speakers are more an opportunity for high-ups to emerge as 'thought leaders' rather than ask tough questions.

Poster sessions present the necessary and basic building blocks plethora of quality and performance improvement initiatives hospitals must take to reduce, say catheter site infection rates.

Hallway conversation centers on hotel quality, generic descriptions of the woe that is physician relations (according to administrators), and, from the students, tales of last night's adventures on the town.

After the entrepreneurial fervor of excitement at H2.0, ACHE is a bit of a let down.

It's much more difficult to meet a CEO you admire in this type of cattle-car environment.

It makes me question why I believe a career in the heirarchical, troubled world of hospital administration is the right thing for me.

I'm sure other graduate students, especially those to whom shaking hands in suits still seems new and nerve-wracking, may find themselves asking the same question.

What is our motivation for joining this industry?

The day to day work of hospital management isn't sexy stuff - but it's absolutely necessary for improving the service of hospital-based healthcare.

And there is no challenge like healing a hospital system and integrating all care provider and patient activities to achieve optimal wellness.

I'm off to a session on the Globalization of Healthcare...and I love a challenge.

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