How do you calibrate care so that it is neither too much nor too little? In this collection of recent posts, health care professionals search for that “just right” level of care.
“I bet celebrities and other VIPs (as they’re known in hospitals) get some of the worst healthcare in America. And, when I mean worst, I mean the most,” says Jay Parkinson in a recent post. Parkinson explores what is publically known about Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs’ care and calls specific attention to “incidentalomas.” Parkinson describes these asymptomatic tumors, sometimes discovered by especially aggressive care, and suggests that they may be over-treated, leading to poor health outcomes.
Mark W. Browne asks, Is the health quality bar set high enough? Browne cites a recent study indicating that in order to objectively do well, a doctor must have performed about twice as many colonoscopies as are currently recommended for proficiency. “We must continue to push to measure that which truly demonstrates a standard of excellence, not just a standard of competence, even if that means that some physicians or health systems won’t be able to provide that service until they can demonstrate a higher level of care,” Browne adds. He urges that quality be defined in absolute terms, rather than relative to state or national averages.
Who decides what quality means? In a Lowell, IN newspaper editorial, John Gorski contrasts how patients and clinicians talk about quality health care. Gorski believes that patient experience of care measures, included in hospital quality measurement by the Affordable Care Act, “will be crucial to [hospitals’] bottom line, driving further improvements in the quality, safety and affordability of healthcare.”
*This blog post was originally published at Prepared Patient Forum: What It Takes Blog*