Meds in a cupcake

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Gary Tetz
Gary Tetz

If you're weary of pursuing constant improvement and innovation in long-term care, take inspiration from Burger King. 

The speedy purveyor of simulated food items has gone to the deep fryer one more time and created a revolutionary hybrid — the French Fry Burger.  It's a dollar, and as the name suggests, it's your standard beef-like patty. Covered with a layer of greasy fries. Then slathered in condiments and nestled within a sesame-seed bun.

I haven't had one. Yet. While I'd love to sink my teeth into this culinary masterwork, I keep seeing myself pale, lying on a cardiac catheterization table, with ketchup and salt on my fingers and a bit of wrapper still in my fist. Then I look for a carrot.

Despite being another weapon of mass dietary destruction, the French Fry Burger has plenty to teach. Not that the cutthroat world of long-term care competition should drive any of you to sell your services for a dollar. Or that the med pass could be reinvented by offering Toprol stuffed inside a cupcake. But that there's good innovation and not-so-good innovation, and you're pursuing the good kind. 

Burger King has proven that just when it seems all the radical ideas have been exhausted, there's always another one waiting to be discovered. But aren't you glad your own quest for new ways of delivering care and service isn't driven by a myopic desire simply for profits and market share? 

My experience has been that when long-term care leaders seek innovation, life generally gets better for people. You create a safer workplace, improved outcomes and greater efficiencies, which bring real-life, positive benefits. As opposed to, say, poisoning your customers with ingeniously addictive food products. 

Along the way, your efforts are rewarded, hopefully, with profits and market share. But in any event, at least you don't have to go home at night knowing fries on a burger was your idea. 


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