Excel Medical Blog

What Are We Waiting For?

By Mary Baum, Chief Strategy Officer

It has been 17 years since the Committee on Quality in Health Care in America released its second and final report: Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. 

 

We talked about evidence based healthcare, being patient-centered, had the discussion and used the language we are using today about healthcare quality. At the time the conversations were earth-shattering. We raised the level of awareness about errors of omission, commission, overuse, underuse and misuse.  As I think about the progress we have made – because I work in hospitals every day, I know that we have a very long way to go and the stakes are high.

 

This week I was reminded of the stakes…

This week one of our Executive Vice President's father fell on black ice – he is in the neuro ICU – struggling. His family only cares about one thing: “get him well and get him out of here” back to taking his daily walks.

 They expect:

  1. Their Dad is as safe in the hospital as he is in his own home;
  2. They want their healthcare system to match his care to  evidence based science and best practice;
  3. They don’t want to wait or have delays in his care;
  4. They want to make sure that the care is not solely based on cost but uses resources efficiently;
  5. That regardless of their Dad's age or race, the care is managed with equity;

 

His dad's treatment should be about comprehensive and patient centered care based on the best science available. His care should be the best whether in La Crosse, Wisconsin or Los Angeles, California. His care provider should assume the responsibility for coordinating that care, integrating across departments and other clinicians. Care that cooperates across the entire system. Care that provides their family and their dad with information necessary to participate in his healthcare decision. Care that freely shares information. Care that makes decisions based on science-based medicine. Care that anticipates his dad’s needs. Care that prioritizes cooperation among caregivers.

 

My True North and the True North of the Quality Chasm Report is that we need to meet all of the requirements aspired to in the report today.  People’s lives are at stake. There is great new evidence-based knowledge and cutting edge technology to support forward leaning clinical decision. The knowledge, the science, and the evidence based workflow has come a long way in the last 17 years. Lets put it into ACTION.

So, what are we waiting for?

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