Saturday, May 02, 2015

Healthcare and Boeing?

Healthcare and Boeing, the aerospace giant?


Not exactly the kind of healthcare schemes that employers are interested in, regarding their employees. But, a system for ensuring that patients get wholesome care by their doctors.

As much as we are surprised by this unexpected connection between healthcare and Boeing, it probably was a similar surprise to the discoverer of the idea, Dr. Atul Gawande, a Harvard-trained surgeon. You can get a good feel for this surprise in his 2012 TED Talk titled How Do We Heal Medicine? Although the talk is a bit more focused on surgical patients, it is probably applicable in many non-surgical situations too. (You can find the transcript of the talk on the web).

As Dr. Gawande himself observes, things seem to have gotten out of hand since the medical community "... has now [in 2012] discovered 4,000 medical and surgical procedures. We have 6,000 drugs ..."

Surgical Safety Checklist as seen at 15:20 in the video.

The essence of his discovery is that we need a system in providing wholesome care for the patients, a system he found in use in the aerospace industry. A system of checklists that ensures that all the considerations needed in the treatment of a surgical patient are taken care of:
  1. Before induction of anaesthesia (sic)
  2. Before skin incision
  3. Before patient leaves operating room
And, then, he goes on to reveal that "We implemented this checklist in eight hospitals around the world .... We found that after they adopted it the complication rates fell 35 percent ... The death rates fell 47 percent. This was bigger than a drug."


Moral? You can't keep doing things the way they were done before. Every now and then, you need to reinvent ...

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