Good Sportsmanship and Good Ethics in Population Health

One of the greatest joys in my life has been to coach my oldest son’s tackle football teams from 4th grade through 7th grade. I’ve found in my coaching, it is best to look to the professionals for guidance. One of my favorite coaches to study has been Fielding H. Yost (1871–1946), a big proponent of teamwork and sportsmanship.

Toward the end of his tenure as head coach at the University of Michigan, Coach Yost shared these words of wisdom: “The object of all competition should be to result in the friendliness, confidence, and goodwill that can never be developed unless you have good sportsmanship and good ethics.”

I would say this perspective applies just as much in 2016 as it did in 1922, and it applies in the business world as much as or more than it does in the game of football.

IMG_0894One of the most refreshing parts of coaching is the willingness of coaches to share with one another. High school and college coaches come together at conferences and clinics nationwide to share their playbooks, knowledge, and best practices—all in an effort to improve the game.

This same willingness to share combined with a passion to learn was on full display at the 2016 KLAS Keystone conference. 

In this setting, it wasn’t football coaches but a select group of 52 healthcare executives from the top IT vendor companies, management consulting/services firms, provider organizations, and payer organizations. This group came together with the express purpose of improving the industry surrounding population health management (PHM). 

I remember one particular interaction between three very passionate executives from competing companies. These executives spent at least 45 minutes in deep conversation regarding what particular services their customers needed beyond just the technology that each of their companies provided. 

During that conversation, I heard these executives sharing what can best be described as details from their own PHM playbooks.

I couldn’t help but think that these three vendor executives truly understood what Coach Yost described as the “object of all competition.” They understand the level of collaboration needed in order to move population health solutions forward. 

Their passion in ensuring their work impacts clinical and financial outcomes serves as a great example of good sportsmanship and good ethics. It’s an example I won’t soon forget.

The changes that need to occur in the game of healthcare will only come when vendor and provider executives come together to share with and learn from each other.

Just imagine the amount of positive change in healthcare that will come from this group of highly passionate executives who came together for the sole purpose of learning and sharing.

Our hope is that by hosting summits like this KLAS acts as a bridge between provider organizations and vendors, helping everyone to come together and improve the world’s healthcare.

Read the Keystone Summit White Paper here.





This is the second of six blogs about the KLAS Keystone Summit. Read the first one here, and the next one here.