April 24th, 2012 by Gallagher John 1 Comment

I just finished reading The Best Practice – How the New Quality Movement is Transforming Medicine. Not all of my readers are keenly aware, but for the past two years I have been a consultant in health care working with organizations to improve the effectiveness of their delivery of health care.  For me, a lot of my work is about reducing wait times and improving efficiencies.  This book was a gift from one of my clients and I am so appreciative of this gift.  Let me share a few of the jaw-dropping facts:

  • From a Harvard Medical Practice Study, it is estimated that there are 1 million preventable medical errors in the United States each year, resulting in more than 100,000 deaths (That is like one 737 crashing EVERY DAY in a year!)
  • The cost of these injuries is estimated at $33 billion annually
  • 70 percent of the nation’s cost of care goes to less than 10 percent of the population
  • There are over 10,00 billing codes in health care for procedures (want to guess how many there are for cures?)
  • 74 percent of doctors believe patients could receive better care if doctors were able to share information via electronic medical records.  63 percent believe the benefits of electronic medical records would decrease the risk of medical error- 2007 Wall Street Journal survey  (Think of how many information cards you carry on your key-chain with your information on them.  How many of you carry one around with your medical information on it?

After completing this book, I am more committed than ever to continue the work that I do.  Not just to improve efficiency and reduce the time we wait in the doctor’s office, but to….SAVE LIVES!

This book is very relevant to those seeking to understand just a little bit better the problems with our current health care delivery system.

I really enjoyed reading this book.  Thank you, Gene Lindsey, for sharing it with me.  There were gut-wrenching stories of folks who were affected by errors in our medical system.  From infections to having the wrong limb amputated, to death for poor systems…NOT bad people…bad SYSTEMS. 


  • Brian Ramos

    Well said. And so, our work continues.