Liberals don’t care about controlling healthcare costs. Or so we just learned from Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a well-known oncologist, former presidential advisor on health care policy, now employed as vice provost and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and still the brother of Rahm, a fellow Obama White House alum who now rules Chicago.
Emanuel (the doctor, not the mayor) made this blatantly false accusation in a Jan 22 New York Times opinion piece. In his article, entitled “What We Give Up for Health Care,” he stitches together a complete straw man – in the form of “liberals” (who knew America still had any?) who are so concerned about securing universal health coverage that they fail to grapple with the problem of medical cost inflation and thus end up depriving other government programs of needed funding. Read more >>
As I think about patient safety and teamwork , I have been reading a lot about how other high reliability, safety-critical industries have achieved better performance in these areas than health care.One of the reasons that high reliability industries are safe is because they recognize that safety is a function of teamwork and that teamwork is not possible with the recognition of a very specific kind of group cognition – what cognitive anthropologist Edwin Hutchins calls “distributed cognition.”In his work on aircraft carriers and aviation for his book, Cognition in the Wild, Hutchins laid out a theory of distributed cognition that is crucial to our understanding of how genuine teamwork functions in complex endeavors. Read more >>
To celebrate the New Year, the recently released movie Puncture has now come out in DVD. The movie, which stars Chris Evans, was theatrically released in early fall and has then followed with video release. The movie is a must for every RN and every health care worker and should be required viewing for hospital administrators, health policy experts, and politicians. It raises sobering issues about the safety of health care workers, who like the real life character in this movie, have been hurt on the job and as a result become patients — like those they have devoted their lives to help. Read more >>
Today and yesterday, The New York Times ran two front page stories about cell phones — yesterday’s focused on the road, today’s focused on cell phone uses in hospitals. In both, distracted drivers or doctors and nurses jeopardized the lives of innocent by-standers. In the first case its other drivers who are killed or injured in accidents because of distracted drivers, in the seconds it’s patients who are harmed because of distracted health care workers. Read more >>
This morning, as I was having my latte, I saw in the New York Times that Evelyn Lauder had died. How could anyone miss it? Not only was there an obit, but two ads commemorating her death taken out by the Estee Lauder Company. I never want to speak ill of the dead but it all came back to me when I saw her picture. And I couldn’t resist writing about it. I think of it as my lunch with Evelyn, but to use the fashionable new discourse, you could also think of it as a member of the 99% has lunch with the 1%. Which is just what happened to me back them, I think it was in 1986 or so. Read more >>