There's an old saying about the weather, and it appears that the same holds true with regard to health care:
"The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) announced...the progress of the...5 Million Lives Campaign, a national effort to help U.S. hospitals dramatically reduce incidents of avoidable medical harm."
Right out of the chute, that seems like a good idea.
But it gets better:
"The Campaign [asked] hospitals to introduce up to 11 evidence-based health care interventions and to engage their trustees in the effort, in order to protect patients across the nation from five million incidents of medical harm over a 24-month period..."
That's a lot of "incidents," although we don't know how many are simply prescribing the wrong aspirin versus removing the wrong kidney. The goal as stated is certainly admirable, but a perhaps unintended side effect caught my attention:
Over 4,000 hospitals (representing almost 80% of the available beds nationally) participated in the program, and "(e)ight other countries have launched initiatives inspired by the Campaign." These included some whose systems we've, um, discussed here at IB, including the MVNHS© and Our Neighbors to the North© . Which begs the question: if socialized medicine is so great, and our system so bad, how come these two stalwarts (not to mention Sweden and Japan) feel it necessary to address the issue of "avoidable medical harm?"