Poor service, irregular quality, at astonishingly high cost

| 1 Comment

That's the American health care industry, as described by The Atlantic in its introduction to David Goldhill's story, "How American Health Care Killed My Father."

It's difficult to choose one worthy excerpt of this fine piece, but I chose this one:

How can a facility featuring state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment use less-sophisticated information technology than my local sushi bar? How can the ICU stress the importance of sterility when its trash is picked up once daily, and only after flowing onto the floor of a patient's room? Considering the importance of a patient's frame of mind to recovery, why are the rooms so cheerless and uncomfortable? In whose interest is the bizarre scheduling of hospital shifts, so that a five-week stay brings an endless string of new personnel assigned to a patient's care? Why, in other words, has this technologically advanced hospital missed out on the revolution in quality control and customer service that has swept all other consumer-facing industries in the past two generations?


I'm a businessman, and in no sense a health-care expert. But the persistence of bad industry practices--from long lines at the doctor's office to ever-rising prices to astonishing numbers of preventable deaths--seems beyond all normal logic, and must have an underlying cause. There needs to be a business reason why an industry, year in and year out, would be able to get away with poor customer service, unaffordable prices, and uneven results--a reason my father and so many others are unnecessarily killed.

Read the entire story.

1 Comment

There are so many forums nowadays regarding the healthcare reforms, yet, out there so many people still think that the USA healthcare system is the best in the world, when in fact it is way down on every list there is, yet at the same time the expenditure per capita is about twice that of almost every other country that has a NHS.
I live in Sweden, and I am proud of the care all of us get, even foreigners on visit to our country.

We visit out local GP and pay a one off fee of about $15, and any referal to a specialist costs about the same, usually within a few days, it was in my case anyway. Regardless of treatment, operations etc the cost is as I said about $15. There is a ceiling of about $120 a year regardless of how many visits one makes to the doctors. Medications cost a maximum of $230 a year, and following years $115. These costs are across the board, no matter what medication costs $10 or $48000. Even drugs such as Tarceva and Letrozol are provided under our scheme.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Gary Schwitzer published on August 21, 2009 7:11 AM.

Seniors confused about health care reform - rationing or rational? was the previous entry in this blog.

What's behind top scores on HealthNewsReview.org? is the next entry in this blog.

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