Patient care will be thrown out of the car.

Any business in the health care industry is subject to the greatest external forces that hold the power to destroy a business. Laws, like the recently passed Affordable Care Act, are putting immense pressure on businesses to improve quality, reduce costs, and protect privacy.

Regardless how you feel about the laws, these laws place external pressure on businesses. Pressure that these businesses cannot control. They have to adapt.

If these businesses don’t have strong internal driving forces, it will be difficult to maintain their identity. Even with internal driving forces, it will be difficult to maintain identity.

An internal driving force is the reminder of why you are in business. It’s the strategy of the organization. For health care organizations, it might have something to do with the type of customers they help. And I would hope that many have a subjective, personal definition of what improving patient care means.

External forces can be aligned with a strong internal force to channel a positive outcome. But that requires seeing the external forces as an opportunity. And, making sure the internal driving force maintains priority at setting the momentum of the organization.

Otherwise, patient care will take a back seat to standardized quality indications, cutting costs, paperwork and compliance. Actually, patient care won’t take a back seat, it’ll be thrown out of the car.