Wonder if THIS kind of crap will get worse under Healthcare 'reform'

Discussion in 'Healthcare/Insurance/Govt Healthcare' started by Gatekeeper, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. Gatekeeper
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    Gatekeeper Senior Member

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    But then again, this kind of crap has been occurring for generations.
    I cannot imagine the pain and anger that this person is going to deal with
    forever.

    How can 'super educated' staff members in any medical institution be so damn stupid is beyond me. Are they hiring mental midgets or have the limits for intelligence been lowered to accommodate political correctness and 'fairness' in hiring? :eek:
     
  2. Greenbeard
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    Greenbeard Gold Member

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    It's been a decade now since the Institute of Medicine (one of the United States National Academies) released To Err Is Human which was a landmark report on patient safety and the surprising prevalence of medical errors in our system. Two of the many authors of that report (one of whom is Don Berwick, now head of CMS) did sort of a five-year check-in in a piece published in JAMA in 2005 and found that things weren't progressing particularly quickly on the patient safety front, though some improvement had been made.

    Several months ago, at the 10-year anniversary of the report, there were lots more retrospectives that seemed to agree that things are a little better now but not much. For example:

    Let me also throw out there that Thomson Reuters estimated that medical mistakes are costing us $75-$100 billion every year.

    Does health care reform (i.e. the ACA) make some strides toward improving patient safety? Some, there's a lot more quality reporting that will be happening, new national standards, money for incorporating patient safety training in clinical education programs, programs within the public payers to link payment to quality and reduce preventable hospital re-admissions. And one of the key concepts behind one of the big enchiladas in the law--the new and innovative care delivery models being rolled out--is patient safety and patient-centeredness.

    But I would suggest that the really big potential to reduce medical errors doesn't come from ACA but from another law that passed early in 2009, the HITECH Act. I've talked about HITECH before: essentially it's spurring states to start building the infrastructure to exchange health information and it's offering incentives to Medicare and Medicaid providers (doctors and hospitals) to adopt electronic health records and "meaningfully use" them. The definition of what it means to meaningfully use an electronic health record is rolling out in three parts (that thread I linked to is about the first stage of the definition, which has been released) but we do know that by the third and final part, which will go into effect in 2015, improving patient safety and reducing medical errors is going to be a huge part of it.

    Electronic health records have a huge potential to cut down on those kinds of mistakes at a practice-to-practice level. So if in a decade most or all physicians and hospitals were not only using EHRs but using them to their full potential in compliance with national standards, I think that would go a long way toward severely reducing these kinds of medical errors.
     

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