What is the one thought that stands out in your mind after reading this article?
After reading the article, I believe that the high rates of patient readmissions that the U.S. health system records every month are because the system focuses on financial gain rather than provision of high-quality health services to patients. In a world where the evolution of technology is at the peak, medical science is also seeing innumerable advances (Burstin et al. 155). However, when it comes to addressing patient needs, ensuring patient safety, the efficiency of the system, and quality improvement, the U.S. healthcare system performs poorly (Tumialán 158). The U.S. often records high rates of patient readmissions due to poor health outcomes, which are attributed to the delivery of low-quality healthcare services. According to Veteran Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program, at least 57 percent of patients are readmitted in various health settings throughout the country within 30 days upon discharge (Sibert). It is argued that these patient readmissions are often as a result of surgical site infections. Surgical site infections are experienced because the health system largely focuses on financial benefits rather than providing better quality health services to patients.
What are your thoughts about efforts to define quality and improve patient care by measurements?
I am of the opinion that the quality of patient care in the current U.S. health system is measured based on the short-term health outcomes that a patient exhibits before discharge rather than the long-term outcomes. The article argues that many health settings in the U.S. hardly perform a follow-up on the health status of their clients upon discharge (Sibert). The article further asserts that the current U.S. health system is tainted by financial conflict of interest. This implies that the system is focused on financial benefits rather than providing quality health services to patients to help improve their health conditions.
What can we do to improve patient care in a meaningful way?
Quality improvement in healthcare can be done by prioritizing patients’ needs and expectations such as patient safety and patient-engagement in the delivery of care. Through this approach, health settings might help reduce the high rate of patient-readmissions that the current health system records every month (Noritz et al. 3). The country’s health system should also adopt a pay-for-value system, whereby patients pay for the value of given health service rather than paying for a given health service.
Burstin, Helen, Sheila Leatherman, and Donald Goldmann. “The evolution of healthcare quality measurement in the United States.” Journal of internal medicine 279.2 (2016): 154-159, https://doi.org/10.1111/joim.12471
Noritz, Garey, et al. ““Learn from every patient”: how a learning health system can improve patient care.” Pediatric Quality & Safety 3.5 (2018), https://doi.org/10.1097/pq9.0000000000000100
Sibert, Karen Sullivan. “The Dark Side of Quality.” A Penned Point, 9 June 2015, apennedpoint.com/the-dark-side-of-quality/
Tumialán, Luis M. “Healthcare Systems in the United States.” Quality Spine Care. Springer, Cham, 2019. 155-169, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-97990-8_10