Changing our Vision of Healthcare in USA

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Vision statements are important for organizations because they help guide decisions and inspire collective work towards meeting goals. This is what we need in healthcare.  A vision that all stakeholders can commit to and one that provides an inherent integrity towards safe, affordable, and compassionate care.  Something like this:

USA flagThe United States of America pledges to provide healthcare safely, compassionately and cost-effectively to all citizens while prohibiting fortune-making in all sectors. 


Or this, from the Institute of Medicine:

A Vision for 21st Century Health Care and Wellness

nurse or doctor at bedsideThe Institute of Medicine (IOM) defines health care quality as “the degree to which health services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge,” and in recent years, a broad consensus has emerged on the future health care environment. In the words of the IOM, health care should be:

Effective—providing services based on scientific knowledge to all who could benefit and refraining from providing services to those not likely to benefit, avoiding underuse and overuse, respectively.

Patient-centered—providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.

Timely—reducing waits and sometimes harmful delays for both those who receive and those who give care.

Efficient—avoiding waste, including waste of equipment, supplies, ideas, and energy.

Equitable—providing care that does not vary in quality because of personal characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, geographic location, and socioeconomic status.

Whether we ask “Why our are healthcare costs so high?” as Journalist, Steve Brill does in his special report in Time Magazine:  Bitter Pill:  Why Our Medical Bills are Killing Us ; or “How are  healthcare costs reimbursed?” which repeatedly comes up in the documentary, “Escape Fire (reviewed here)“, we have the same underlying problem!

What we seem to have now is an implicit vision where stakeholders or rather senior leadership within these entities, like pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, malpractice law usa 2firms, specialty physician practices, and for-profit health insurance companies and for-profit hospitals/LTCF etc are making a lot of money.  Profit seems ok maybe wise, even  in healthcare, but greed?

Isn’t fortune-making as a result of other people’s suffering morally wrong?  I don’t think we can really fix healthcare unless we address this issue.  More and more, a National Healthcare Insurance Plan makes sense to me.  This is the course recommended by the Physicians for a National Health Program.

What do you think?





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2 Responses to Changing our Vision of Healthcare in USA

  1. Hi Meg,
    Yes, YES! I agree with you whole heartedly. The connections between education, poverty, and lack of affordable healthcare for so many are all interrelated and foundational problems in our society. It is as if capitalism has gone to far. The playing field is almost vertical! 🙂 and we need to level it.

    In my own life, the only way (that I know of that is legal) for me to afford any decent health insurance would be for me to work full time as an RN in a job that would make me literally sick. I would pay as an individual and I would not be able to maintain the creative work I do as an author and consultant. It is much cheaper to go to the gym, pray, and keep on doing my work. But, sometimes, it is scarey.

    I agree, Single Payer system that eliminates big profits in healthcare is the way to go!

  2. Meg says:

    I beleive our health care system is broken along with the minimun wage system; jobs system; educational system; banking system and others I just can’t remember right off hand. when patients have to spend $6000 a month for medication to keep them alive; or parents don’t have the right facts about immunizations; children are being home schooled because schools aren’t doing their job; when the cost of higher education doesn’t provide jobs when college grads need them the most..yes the entire system is broken.

    The cost of health care on the backs of people who are ill and worried about how to pay the rent to afford health care; when a CAT scan costs mosre than some people in the world make in one year; when some of the “tests” we mandate aren’t as cost effective or even more harmful then what they’re supposed to be treating, when providers don’t have the time to even get at the social issues plaguing most people thus the illness that insues.

    Yes this health care system is broken. when CEOs and bottom lines are more important then the care they purport to supply; when investors pockets need lining before people can get health care; yes this system is broken.

    We need a single payer system; get the big money and big pharma out of this equation; allow everyone who needs the latest greatest care get it no matter what and costs are negotiated for the best; not the cheapest.

    it is time to fix this sytem and all those that impact it; wages; jobs; education.
    Meg Helgert

What are your thoughts?