Monday, October 13, 2008

Best Care Anywhere, part 2

Part 1 ended with a snip from the introduction:

You don't even have to travel to some far-off foreign country like Sweden, or even Canada, to see it in operation. It's already up and running, right here in America.
Here are some results of this US-based healthcare wonder:
  • Most of its doctors have faculty appointments with academic hospitals
  • Two have won the Nobel Prize in medicine
  • Its innovations include development of the CT scanner, the first artificial kidney, the cardiac pacemaker, the first successful liver transplant, the nicotine patch, and prosthetic devices including hydraulic knees and robotic arms
  • Exceptional safety record (more on this later)
  • Health promotion and wellness programs
  • Pioneering and unparalleled adoption of electronic medical records (instead of the paper too often used by "modern" hospitals and doctors elsewhere)
Costly, eh? No: it's the only healthcare provider in the US where cost per patient has been level in recent years.

I haven't finished the book yet (I'm into chapter 2, and the above is all in the introduction) but so far it seems apparent that one substantial factor in this has been that this provider is "stuck" with the patient for life. (They get no benefit at all from postponing conditions.) It's not that simple, though - if dunderheads were stuck with you for life, they wouldn't necessarily be smart about it, and they certainly wouldn't have necessarily invented all that stuff above. Some smart people are at work here.

Next in the series

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