Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

March 13, 2013

Some systems need some work

(Continued)

"If children are forcibly removed from parents who discipline them with spankings while children of addicts are left in filth and drug infested homes, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots."

You may not agree, but just thinking about the ridiculousness of some of the ways our government operates should cause us to want a complete turnover and public financing of elections.

Now, I want to share a local story. This story is not to be disparaging of our doctors or anyone in the medical field. I think it is just a small example of how the system of medical care is not focused on reducing the runaway costs. We have a magnificent new facility that everyone should be proud of. I am sure that it is staffed with good doctors, nurses and medical personnel.

Frankly, I think some of the systems are totally outdated. What do I mean about systems? A story about a patient that goes to his or her primary care physician who works for the same hospital and is referred to a specialist in an office suite that is on the same floor. When all of the information including past history, medicines prescribed, lab reports, procedures done, etc., are already in a database from many years, why would going down the hall to a specialist that works for the same hospital require a complete new history and work up? What happened to the electronic medical records we heard so much about?

We can have magnificent buildings and resort hotel surroundings with great doctors and nurses, but if we are ever going to lower the cost of health care, we will need to wring a lot of cost and waste out of the systems. It is not carved in stone that this industry is immune to improved efficiency, reduced waste with continuous improvement in quality. A panel of experts consisting of doctors, administrators and qualified experts spent a reported 18 months to tell us that 30 cents of every dollar in this industry is waste.

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