The Best Practice: How the New Quality Movement is Transforming Medicine

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Most Americans are aware of the health care insurance crisis. But behind hospital doors lies a greater threat to patients' well-being-insufficient reliance on evidence-based care and widespread deficiencies in the overall quality of care. As many as 98,000 people die from preventable medical errors each year, while Americans on average get only half the care they need.

The Best Practice is the story of how a group of dedicated physicians including Donald Berwick, Paul Batalden, Lucian Leape, and others discovered this disturbing trend-and how they've set out to reverse it. Daring to apply concepts of "quality improvement" gleaned from industries like aviation and manufacturing to the medical profession, these pioneers are revolutionizing the medical field. From Seattle to Cincinnati to J?nk?ping County, Sweden, thousands of health care practitioners are fostering changes that dramatically improve quality while simultaneously delivering care that is more efficient and cost-effective.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A cheerleading look at how some healthcare professionals are trying to improve quality by changing the way doctors and hospitals handle patients. An alarmingly high number of people die because of medical error each year, writes Kenney (Rescue Men, 2007, etc.), but a group of reformers are trying to change that. The author focuses on what is known as the "new quality movement," which examines hospital systems, examining everything from the way waiting rooms are laid out to the simple but often fatal errors doctors and nurses make in overadministering medicine. Kenney spends a lot of time with the bureaucrats he considers visionaries, who are working to shore up the system. A lot of what they try to implement-doing away with top-down management, rigorous attention to detail-comes from other sectors of the economy, such as Japanese automotive industries; the appeal of the book broadens at these points to engage readers interested in issues other than healthcare. In general, however, reading about hospital policies and procedures is as tedious as it sounds. The text acquires emotional weight when Kenney profiles patients who have suffered tragedies due to medical error and families forced to deal with senseless deaths that could have been avoided. But the author, who works as a consultant for Blue Cross Blue Shield, too often puts aside his journalistic skepticism in favor of unadulterated cheerleading for the new quality cause. At those times, the book reads like a slick sales job that overwhelms the reader with "evidence" but leaves critical questions unanswered. The issue most egregiously brushed aside is the question of how political forces prop up an obviously inadequate healthcareindustry. Strictly for the already converted. Agent: Rebecca Friedman/Sterling Lord Literistic
From the Publisher

Physicians Practice, October issue
The Best Practice argues persuasively that, in fact, getting sick in the United States doesn’t beat getting sick in Sweden — or in Denmark, England, Germany, Canada, or just about anywhere else in the developed world, for that matter.”
“ ‘The Best Practice’ is an amazingly readable book. My amazement is not a reflection on Kenney's writing, but rather that he managed to make health care quality interesting for nearly 300 pages.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586487973
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 3/9/2010
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 812,265
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Kenney is the author of five works of nonfiction. A former Boston Globe journalist, he has served as a consultant to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts on the company’s quality and safety initiative.
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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Preparation and Invasion

1 War 3

2 Prewar Planning 24

3 ORHA 71

4 The Looting 104

Pt. 2 Occupation

5 Bremer Begins 141

6 One Fateful Decision: The Disbanding of the Iraqi Military 163

7 The Police, Crime, and the Security Vacuum 234

8 The Civilian Occupation and the CPA 266

9 Insurgency, Militias, and Sectarian Violence 312

10 The Military Occupation 370

Pt. 3 Where Do We Go from Here?

11 Consequences 409

12 Current and Future U.S. Policy in Iraq 463

Epilogue: Reflections 517

Acknowledgments 565

A Brief History of Iraq before the War 569

Timeline of the War in Iraq 577

Contributors and Key Actors 587

Statistical Graphs 615

Name Index 629

About the Author 641

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