Future of Health CareMedical Decision-MakingPatient Empowerment
October 25, 2017

Medical Treatment Should Be Based on More Than Just “Doing Something”

Memory is malleable. This was made quite clear to me at my recent 50th high school reunion. Despite my fallacious recollections, I could not dispute the data of my forgotten activities, awards and foibles captured in pictures and written comments in my high school yearbook. Then there were the comments about my behaviors “back then,” interpreted or misinterpreted by my former high school comrades. These conversations reinforced for me how difficult it is to correctly intuit the motives and thoughts of others, when my own are occasionally tarnished or refurbished. None of us can truly read another’s mind. Even if…
Read More
Patient EmpowermentPerformance Improvement
October 18, 2017

What the Dog Show Taught Me: Performance Improvement Is Not Just Science, But Art

Last week I attended the Bearded Collie Club of America National with my two highly energetic and driven dogs, along with about two hundred other competitors. A calm vacation it was not. My dog athletes enjoyed multiple days of performance competition, capped off by show competition. For people who believe dogs are pets and don’t have emotional lives, let me introduce you to my beardies. They have goals. It’s my job to help them achieve those goals. To do that I need to understand how to get performance, and to improve it. I have learned a lot about meeting goals…
Read More
Future of Health CarePatient EmpowermentPerformance Improvement
October 11, 2017

If Federal Policy Can’t Improve Health Care, What’s Next? 5 Trends to Track

Health care has been extraordinarily resistant to change. Escalating costs have been at issue since the early 1980s—think about it!—but continue to rise unabated. Ask anyone participating in the system, be they physicians or other health care providers, payers or patients, and you will be inundated with complaints about health care economics, outcomes or processes. If you ask most health care executives about the future, chances are you’ll be met with a shrug. The fact is, however, that an undercurrent of change is already beginning to transform health care. It is gaining momentum, but the health care system and providers…
Read More
Future of Health CareMedical Decision-MakingPatient EmpowermentPerformance ImprovementPersonalized Medicine
October 4, 2017

Physician-Patient Interaction: Where We Should Begin to Measure and Improve Medicine

Data is not always the path to identifying good medicine. Quality and cost measures should not be perceived as “scores,” because the health care process is neither simplistic nor deterministic; it involves as much art and perception as science—and never is this more the case than in the first step of that process, making a diagnosis. I share the following story to illustrate this lesson: we should stop behaving as if good quality can be delineated by data alone. Instead, we should be using that data to ask questions. We need to know more about exactly what we are measuring,…
Read More