Tracking Medicine: A Researcher's Quest to Understand Health Care

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Written by a groundbreaking figure of modern medical study, Tracking Medicine is an eye-opening introduction to the science of health care delivery, as well as a powerful argument for its relevance in shaping the future of our country. An indispensable resource for those involved in public health and health policy, this book uses Dr. Wennberg's pioneering research to provide a framework for understanding the health care crisis; and outlines a roadmap for real change in the future. It is also a useful tool for anyone interested in understanding and forming their own opinion on the current debate.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Carole Ann Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN (The College of New Jersey)
Description: This book endeavors to make understandable research findings that impact healthcare delivery. The author's background as an epidemiologist brings real life experience to the discussion.
Purpose: The purpose is to encourage readers to look at different influences that result in healthcare variations.
Audience: The audience is anyone who either provides or receives healthcare.
Features: The book begins by examining differences in healthcare delivery across the United States. The Vermont exemplar highlights how to apply this information. The next two parts describe surgical and medical pattern variations in surgical procedures and chronic illness management. Part 4 addresses healthcare reform within the context of informed, patient-centered, decision-making and cost containment. What makes this book unique is the intertwining of research findings with experiential learning from the author's point of view.
Assessment: There are many books on healthcare reform, health delivery, or systems research, but none that combine the science with practical experience like this one does.
From the Publisher

"There are many books on healthcare reform, health delivery, or systems research, but none that combine the science with practical experience like this one does." --Doody's

"The cost crisis now facing the US health care system urgently calls for more effective control than the new legislation provides. That is why a new book by Dr. John E. Wennberg, Tracking Medicine, is so important and timely." --The New York Review of Books

"Tracking Medicine should be required reading for all health care professionals, and indeed for all who are intrested in truly reforming health care... Highly recommended." --Choice

"The title of this book hints at a personal history:'researcher's quest . . .' Yet, John Wennberg has been the dominant force over several decades in studies to describe and understand American medicine. Thus, this personal narrative is also an excellent summary of our current understanding of US health care." -- American Journal of Epidemiology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199731787
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/26/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 810,817
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

John E. Wennberg, MD, MPH, is Peggy Y. Thomson Professor (Chair) in the Evaluative Clinical Sciences, and Founder and Director Emeritus of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.

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Table of Contents

1. In Health Care, Geography is Destiny
2. The Vermont Experience

3. Tonsillectomy and Medical Opinion
4. Interpreting the Pattern of Surgical Variation
5. Understanding the Market for Preference-Sensitive Surgery
6. Learning What Works and What Patients Want
7. The Birth and Near Death of Comparative Effectiveness Research

8. Understanding Supply-Sensitive Care
9. Chronic Illness and Practice Variation
10. Is More Better?
11. Are America's "Best Hospitals" Really the Best?
12. Ten Top Reasons Why We Need Reform the Way We Manage Chronic Illness

13. Promoting Organized Care and Reducing Overuse
14. Establishing Informed Patient Choice as a Standard of Care
15. Six Ways to Control Cost, Accelerate Reform and Save the Economy
16. The Challenge of Unwarranted Variation

Afterword with Shannon Brownlee

Appendix on Methods


Notes & References

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 19, 2011


    Very impressive descritpion of health services research by the Dartmouth Atlas Research group conducted over the last 30 years. A must read for everybody invovled in public health and medical research.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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