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Healing Medicine

In this 2012 talk, Atul Gawande spoke about fixing the broken healthcare system, primarily the cost, and unsafe practices. In a 2016 publication by PBS, it was presented that the average healthcare cost per American was $10, 345. A 2014 publication by The Peter G Peterson Foundation presented that Italy averages $3200, France $4200, while Germany $5100.

A publication by The Johns Hopkins Medicine presents that 9.5% of all deaths in hospitals yearly are due to medical errors. Atul points to the complexity of medicine as the reason for the high cost and unsafe practices in healthcare.

Atul mentions the 4000 diseases, the over 6000 medications to use to treat and other complex factors to medicine. He points to the many specialists, from therapists to nurses, who care for the patient's needs. The complexity of healthcare today cannot be overstated.

The solution he presents is a multifaceted system of skills. First is the ability to recognize success and failure, the need to understand data. The second skill is to devise a solution; this includes checklists. Atul mentions the aeronautic industry being the leader in checklists to ensure safety and minimize variation. The third skill presented is the ability to implement the solution. "There's a deep resistance... using these tools forces us to confront that we're not a system," said Atul.

Making systems work is the solution to healing medicine and healthcare. The complexity of healthcare has presented high costs and unsafe patient practices, systems will help fix this.

Here's the link for the video: How do we heal medicine?

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