The current thinking is that new technologies, better information and a more scientific approach to the practice of medicine will let doctors do more than ever before, allowing them to leap tall buildings at a single bound, see record numbers of patients and improve their patient satisfaction scores. And that may well turn out to be true, argues the University of Virigina’s Jeff Goldsmith, but we’re still faced with a problem that is not going to go away until we come up with a solution: a shortage of living, breathing human beings with medical degrees going into primary care.
Do wellness programs work? Recently, the heretical idea that they might not actually be all they’re cracked up to be has been gaining ground. Faced by mounting evidence that much of what we’re doing in wellness isn’t working very well, a lot of people are sitting down to work on the problem. How to build new programs that do better? Simple technologies and the right data are the answer, argues THCB contributor Mike Miesen.
A new study published last month finds that misdiagnosis is a serious problem in American hospitals. Could electronic medical records help remedy the situation? Writing from Boston, Evan Falchuck argues that the key to dealing with this problem may be a rethink of how we do medicine in the age of digital health.
With millions of Americans nearing retirement age, the healthcare system is ill-prepared with another influx of patients, some critics argue. Throw in a healthcare system in transition, an uncertain economy and a deteriorating safety net and you have downright scary situation. Faced with this crisis, writes Janice Lynn Schuster, the administration should create a national caregiver corps similar to the Peace Corps or Americorps, enlisting Americans to help protect the well being of vulnerable generations. Add technology to the mix and you just might have something. We urge you to sign her petition.
Why Become A Doctor? (13)
Confronted with stories of burnout, liability issues, student debt and an uncertain forecast for many popular specialties, many young medical school candidates are looking elsewhere. The rules of the game are changing and changing quickly argues the University of Chicago’s Vineet Arora, but the argument for going into medicine is still compelling.
With their reimbursement tied to their quality marks many hospital systems dinged by quality measures are crying foul. So just how crude are the current generation of quality metrics? Not as good as we’d like perhaps, but better than some critics would have you believe, argues UCSF’s Bob Wachter. The takeaway: those that don’t need to work will need to be refined. Those that get that the job done have won their place at healthcare’s table.
Under the new health law, the Patient Centered Outcomes Institute – better known by it’s government-issued acronym PCORI – will play a leading role in setting the nation’s research agenda. PCORI’s four advisory panels (patient engagement, disparities, improving healthcare systems and assessment of treatment options) will vote on research priorities in key areas to make sure patient interests are protected, theoretically influencing billions of dollars of government spending. That makes it all the more important that we know who is serving on the panels. The early signs suggest that the institute will need to do more if transparency is the goal argues Michael Millenson.
Cloud based electronic medical record systems may sound cool and cutting edge, leading leading to dreams of turning your business into the next Google but not everybody is convinced. Performance depends on factors that may be outside your control writes Beth Israel CIO John Halamka.