Wednesday, October 7, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.
Dr. Peter Pronovost is a distinguished physician known for his efforts to decrease the frequency of deadly hospital-borne infections. His remedy to the problem is surprisingly simple: a checklist of ICU protocols that directs physician sanitary practices (e.g. hand-washing). Hospitals that have put Pronovost’s checklist into practice have had immediate success, reducing hospital-infection rates somewhere between (estimates vary) well over a third to a whopping two-thirds within the first few months of its adoption. Yet as the story goes, many physicians have rejected this solution and Pronovost has struggled to persuade hospitals to adopt his reform.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 100,000 American deaths are caused or contributed to by hospital-borne infections. Blood clots following surgery or illness are the leading cause of avertable hospital deaths in the U.S., which by the most liberal estimates might contribute t o the death of almost 200,000 patients annually. Given such a hideous fact, why exactly does a doctor need to travel about and emphatically seek to persuade other medical institutions to adopt, in effect, a cost-free idea that could save so many lives?
How is that an industry which stridently decries the high cost of liability insurance or the absolute injustice of our tort system(which does need reform) need such petitioning to embrace such a simple technique to save thousands of lives? Moreover, in the United States it is not unheard of for a whole business to shut down due a single illness from some suspicious food—yet, we tolerate the killing-via-negligence on such a grand scale in our hospitals? Medical mistakes and institutional carelessness do not qualify as some must-be-accepted inevitability.
This reality has been almost entirely been neglected in the discourse on health care reform. Beyond the structure and financing troubles of our medical system, the institutional practice and governance of hospitals are in need of severe criticism. For example, in what alternate dimension does the peculiar scheduling of hospital work shifts in any way benefit the patient? A few weeks at the hospitals virtually guarantees a never-ending string of new personnel assigned to one patient’s care. If this can be avoided, should it not? It seems quite reasonable to presume that passing patients off from doctor to doctor, or nurse to nurse, might increase the chance of someone making a mistake? The effect of changing such a seemingly small problem could be huge. Or, take for example, the “sanitary” environment of hospitals in general, which contribute to the nearly 100,000 annual American deaths. Anyone who has ever worked in “corporate America” or in a large building in general might note that the trash is picked up once daily. Is it any different in a hospital? It takes some sort intellectual schizophrenia to insist on ICU sterility in a building if one has not the slightest care over how many times trash (never mind what is in it) is picked up in a day.
Any array of complaints about institutional malpractice must lead to the inevitable question: how is it that the most technologically advanced medical institutions in the industrialized world miss out on a just as modern, just as recent, revolution of quality control and customer-service that has pervaded every other consumer-based industry? The answer to this question is telling. Read the rest of this entry »
Monday, September 14, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.
President Obama and Speaker Pelosi are trying their hardest at imitating an ostrich sticking its head in the sand. It continues still today.
When White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod was asked for his opinion concerning the large number of protesters that marched on Washington on Saturday, he replied:
“I don’t think it’s indicative of the nation’s mood . . . “You know, I don’t think we ought to be distracted by that. My message to them is, they’re wrong.”
After tens of hundreds of tea party and town hall protests, the Obama administration seems to purposely be ignoring what Americans demand, no more government intrusion and spending.
The tone deafness of this administration and their proxies is simply stunning.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009 \PM\.\Wed\.
[Updates at the bottom of this posting as of 3:03am CDT on AD 9-10-2009]
President Obama’s speech covered many topics, lets first layout our President’s plan:
I. Keep the health insurance you have now.
1. Pre-existing symptoms or disabilities no longer will disqualify anyone from coverage.
2. No spending caps set by insurance companies.
3. No drop in coverage in the middle of an illness.
4. Limit on out of pocket expense.
5. Minimal requirements of coverage.
II. Public Option & Exchange
1. When losing your job you have the Public Option if you can’t afford insurance.
2. Insurance exchange markets will be required for insurance companies to participate in.
3. Tax credits for small businesses.
4. In theory this will not lead to a government take over.
Read the rest of this entry »
Wednesday, September 9, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.
[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 5:52am CDT on AD 9-9-2009]
News is emanating from the White House that President Obama’s monumental speech will push for the infamous public option. It is well known that most Republicans will call this a deal breaker but at the same time liberal Democrats will say the opposite that no Health Care bill will get through if it doesn’t contain a public option.
Jonathan Weisman and Janet Adamy have reported in the Wall Street Journal that President Obama will be pushing for the public option. It is also being reported that there will be penalties imposed to those that are not paying for Health Care, regardless of the reasons.
White House aides acknowledged they expect little Republican support if any.
Read the rest of this entry »
Wednesday, September 2, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.
President Obama will be dropping the socialistic Public Option from his government-run health care plan. This will certainly anger the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and make for some interesting showdowns with both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (emphasis mine).
“…Obama’s willingness to forgo the public option is sure to anger his party’s liberal base. But some administration officials welcome a showdown with liberal lawmakers… …The confrontation would allow Obama to show he is willing to stare down his own party to get things done.”
Read the rest of this entry »