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Posted September 23, 2006
Since we have had several personal experiences of almost dying or being infected after a medical procedure, we tuned into the PBS broadcast of the documentary 'Good News... How Hospitals Heal Themselves'. It was so revealing that we got the book for both personal and business reasons. In our business, ESF, Inc., we frequently deal with hospitals and those in the medical and nursing professions. Both my husband, Dr. Peter J. Esseff, and I feel this book should be read by personnel in every hospital from administrator to janitor. The 'Systems Thinking' initiatives put into effect by the hospitals in the two 'Good News' health care systems (SSM Health Care, St. Louis, Mo. comprised of 23 hospitals, and the Pittsburgh Regional Health Care Initiative, Pittsburgh, PA, comprised of 40 hospitals) demonstrated how a variety of 'hospital diseases' could be treated and eventually eradicated. These initiatives were used initially by Dr. W. Edwards Deming in helping Japan 'work smarter, not harder' in improving their auto manufacturing industry. In these two health care systems, statistics are given that demonstrate how the hospitals were able to: 1) focus more on patients' needs, 2) reduce costs, deaths, suffering, infections, duplication of services, waste of time and supplies, 3) avoid deadly mistakes, 4) streamline their bureaucracy, and 5) work as a Team, from the top to the bottom of the chain of employees, by not placing blame for errors committed and empowering their workers to recommend changes to improve the quality of care in the hospitals. The Savary/Crawford-Mason book takes the reader through the step-by-step process used by the two 'good news' health care systems and described what each step in the process achieved. 'The Nun and the Bureaucrat' is filled with specific examples of what the problem was and how the hospital solved it, sometimes in creative ways, but more often in logical ways that make us wonder why someone didn't think of that sooner. The positive results achieved through these initiatives are astounding. What an incredible impact it would be on our entire health care system if these 'Systems Thinking' initiatives could be enacted country wide in every medical facility. It gives us hope for curing our sick hospitals. It gives us hope for reducing our ever-increasing health care costs. It gives us hope for raising the standard of health care. Everyone should read 'The Nun and the Bureaucrat--How They Found an Unlikely Cure for America's Sick Hospitals' and pressure their hospital administrators, community, state, and federal officials to apply these 'Systems Thinking' initiatives to our health care system nationwide. School systems should do likewise.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.