Friday, June 16, 2006

Health Care Crisis

Topic: Management Improvement

Probe finds nation's emergency care system at 'breaking point' by Lauran Neegaard:

It's a sobering symptom of how the nation's emergency-care system is overcrowded and overwhelmed, "at its breaking point," concludes an investigation by the Institute of Medicine.

The spate of similar articles reminded me of the recent post by Mark Graban: Stop calling it "ER Congestion". He states: "It's not an ER problem, it's a systemic hospital problem." I agree. The health care system is broken and has been for a long time. Symptoms like the huge cost of health care, medical errors, ER problems etc. are all related.

From the original article:

"It is the only medical care to which Americans have a legal right," noted Kellerman, adding that what constitutes an emergency is different to a doctor than to a desperate patient. Last week, he treated a woman who wound up in the ER after running out of some crucial medication and being turned away by four different clinics.

Most of the news stories touch on the systemic nature of the problems with such statements. So it is not that people are unaware of that truth but the importance of a systemic fix seems minimized.

What we need more of:

And less of:

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