Archive | February, 2009

Will Academic Medical Centers Show the Love to Their Faculty Quality Improvers?

When we launched our hospitalist program in 1995, I dreamed that many of our faculty would become leaders in quality and patient safety. That dream has come true, but we now must leap over two hurdles: getting these superb physicians paid and promoted. I think we can do it, but there are a bunch of […]

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Are We Mature Enough to Make Use of Comparative Effectiveness Research?

Thanks to White House budget director Peter Orszag, a Dartmouth Atlas aficionado, $1.1 billion found its way into the stimulus piñata for “comparative effectiveness” research. Terrific, but – to paraphrase Jack Nicholson – can we handle the truth? In other words, are we mature enough to use comparative effectiveness data to make tough decisions about […]

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Checklists (The Sequel), 5 Million Lives, and the Magic of Measurable Results

Last month’s New England Journal included another astounding checklist study, an international extravaganza that found nearly 50% reductions in mortality and complications after implementation of pre- and post-op surgical safety checklists. Wow. Coincidentally, I read the study, conducted by a research team led by surgeon/author extraordinaire Atul Gawande, on my way home from a meeting […]

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The Recipe for Medical Errors: This One Takes the Cake

We now know that most serious medical errors – including the biggies like wrong-site surgery – stem from communication failures. But these types of failures aren’t unique to medicine. Here’s a sidesplitting one from the cake-baking business. Thanks to John Nelson for pointing this one out to me, from the blog “Cake Wrecks.” (Yes, a […]

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