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:
Or this, from the Institute of Medicine:
A Vision for 21st Century Health Care and Wellness
The 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 firms, 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?