What hospitals can learn from the Ritz

March 2, 2011: 10:26 AM ET

Henry Ford Health System's newest hospital, a $360-million facility with all private rooms, concierge service, and indoor farmer's market is a radical, risky move for health care. But it just might be a logical one too.

By William C. Taylor, contributor

(ManagementInnovationeXchange) -- Not long ago, I was in the audience at a symposium organized by the leaders of the Henry Ford Health System, a $4-billion-a-year health-and-hospital company based in Detroit. The organization's leaders had called the symposium to explain to local executives why they were making the biggest strategic bet in the system's history since its founding by Henry Ford himself back in 1915.

The Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in West Bloomfield, Michigan

Many observers thought the hospital was taking too big a risk, that its strategy was too radical.  But Robert Riney, COO of the organization, turned those worries on their head. "It's not radical to 'go radical,'" he told the group. "It's logical to go radical. How can you look at the situation in our industry and say the answer is to make incremental change?"

What was the bold move on people's minds? The organization's decision to build one of the most remarkable healthcare facilities that I, or anyone, have ever seen, the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in West Bloomfield, Michigan. The $360-million facility, roughly 23 miles northwest of the original Henry Ford Hospital, is a one-of-a-kind innovation that redefines the idea of what's possible in its field. More

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