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Healthcare Informatics: Imposing Order at any Cost?

September 18, 2008
by Joe Bormel
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This post is only for the CXOs who

dabble with the social side of HCIT projects. Whether we use the labels "Liberals" and "Conservatives", or describe behaviors like "

Open to new experiences" versus "

Value traditions and stability," people in our organizations will react differently to improvement initiatives. Understanding this can be key to getting necessary support.

So, I was particularly interested when I saw

this short video clip from Jonathan Haidt, titled: "The Real Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives."

In the video, Haidt outlines that there are five sources of intuition and emotions in each of us, and in the people whose support we need. He calls them the Five Foundations or Values of Morality.

Two of them are shared by all of us,

caring for people is good (we'd prefer no harm comes to people), and we should

treat people fairly (with respect, or by

The Golden Rule). These two foundations are strongly present in everyone and certainly those of us who have chosen to work in healthcare.

The later three values,

group loyalty,

respect for authority, and a notion of

sanctity of institutions are where things get interesting. Individual people in IT, administration, clinicians, and patients are often strongly biased toward these values, or have a distinct lack of respect for these values.

Haidt's conclusion: In order for great communities to develop, grow and

do great things (

like transform care delivery performance and care quality), we need to recognize and truly respect these values, whether an individual is invested in Care and Fairness, or, includes all five factors in their value system.

Values: 1. Harm / Care
2. Fairness / Reciprocity

3. Ingroup / Loyalty - cooperation, tribal psychology, team spirit
4. Authority / Respect - submission, voluntary deference, love
5. Purity / Sanctity

Is this relevant to our world of Healthcare Informatics? I think so. What do you think?

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