Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, In the Know

Treatment with a Guarantee?

It’s interesting to read about medical providers who are not only coming up with innovative treatment plans, but also finding that good medicine is good for the medical providers bottom line.  I came across an article in the business magazine “Fast Company”.  They showcase cutting edge ideas and this one about healthcare caught my attention especially in the midst of a political campaign where the candidates are talking about healthcare reform.

The treatment in the article is a coronary artery bypass graft.  They state that they are charging a flat fee and if the patient incurs any preventable complication putting the patient back in the hospital, the hospital picks up the tab.  They have come up with a forty step process that standardizes the treatment protocol so no one involved in the patient’s care overlooks any one item.  Accountability is included in this process helping to cut down or eliminate missed steps increasing the success rates.

Does the 40 step plan work?  Glenn Steele Geisinger Health System’s CEO had the procedure done and it was successful.  Following the surgery he received an e-mail stating that 113 people had accessed his medical records during his stay, all authorized.  This is why they believe the 40 step plan works because everyone is kept in the loop.  Can you imagine coordinating 113 people for one patient?  This increases communication and keeps everyone on the same page.

They say this is their first process to be implemented but more will come.  I believe that any time you can increase communication surrounding the care of the patient it’s a true benefit.  When everyone is speaking the same language, following the protocols it means that there is less confusion, and that means less chances for the patient to be harmed.

It’s important that we continue looking for ways to increase access to healthcare.  If we can do this while still maintaining the highest levels of care so that fewer complications result in fewer deaths we’re ahead of the game.  When all eyes are on the patient that’s good.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand that all eyes are on the patient and the pocketbook, but for now we’re heading into uncharted territory.  Let’s sit back and see where the next leg of the journey takes us.

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