How We Can Engineer a Less Costly Health Care System

How We Can Engineer a Less Costly Health Care System

Posted by  | Designing Safer Systems, Patient-Centered Care, Preventing Patient Harm

If we want to rein in the costs of the U.S. health-care system — now equal to nearly 18 percent of the nation's gross domestic product — we cannot ignore the fragmented technologies used to help heal and save lives. At first glance, the devices, monitors, electronic health records and machines found in today's hospitals(...)

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More Science, Less Sausage-Making Needed for Hospital Quality Measures

More Science, Less Sausage-Making Needed for Hospital Quality Measures

Posted by  | Measurement of Safety and Quality

If you understand statistics and possess the intestinal fortitude to examine a ranking methodology, you will recognize that it involves ingredients that have to be recombined, repackaged and renamed. It's messy, like sausage-making. This is not to say that the end product — hospital rankings — are distasteful. Patients deserve valid, transparent and timely information(...)

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Common Symptoms, Uncommon Causes: Reducing Misdiagnosis on the Front Lines

Common Symptoms, Uncommon Causes: Reducing Misdiagnosis on the Front Lines

Posted by  | Preventing Patient Harm

In 2013, a 52-year-old man went to an emergency department complaining of dizziness. Physicians evaluated him, decided that it was a benign condition — as it usually is — and sent him home. Days later, it became apparent that this was no harmless event. He suffered a significant stroke, with permanent disability as the result.(...)

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Thinking Outside the Hospital: A Call to Action for Outpatient Safety

Thinking Outside the Hospital: A Call to Action for Outpatient Safety

Posted by  | Patient-Centered Care, Preventing Patient Harm

Health care has been thinking about medical errors for nearly 20 years, starting with the Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report “To Err is Human.” This and other work across the country have correctly shed light upon such medical errors as amputation of the wrong limb, inpatient adverse drug events and hospital-acquired infections, and we have(...)

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How the Flint Water Crisis Is a Cautionary Tale for Health Care

How the Flint Water Crisis Is a Cautionary Tale for Health Care

Posted by  | Designing Safer Systems, Organizational and Cultural Change, Preventing Patient Harm

There has been no shortage of blame for the poisoning of Flint, Michigan's water supply. In March, a governor-appointed task force issued a report that rebuked local, state and federal authorities for their actions — and inactions — that created the public health crisis. Then, in late April, state prosecutors announced the first charges in the(...)

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What Teenage Patients — and Their Parents — Want from Their Care Team

What Teenage Patients — and Their Parents — Want from Their Care Team

Posted by  | Patient-Centered Care

For anyone with a serious medical condition, frequent hospitalizations and clinic visits can have a profoundly disruptive impact. Yet adolescent and teenage patients have a uniquely challenging experience. A boy who would otherwise be playing on a soccer team or performing in a play may be undergoing chemotherapy. A girl who had expected to be(...)

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