This book examines various contributions of Benjamin Franklin to health care and medicine. Over two centuries ago, he used the scientific method to evaluate health care processes and outcomes. For example, in 1784 the King of France, Louis XVI, commissioned Benjamin Franklin and several other prominent scientists to evaluate the therapeutic techniques of Franz Anton Mesmer. Their conclusions, the complete Report of the Royal Commission on Animal Magnetism and Mesmerism, is reproduced here, along with several other views of the proceedings.
Another analysis of health care that Benjamin Franklin undertook was related to smallpox. He studied the outcomes of smallpox inoculation, and compared them to not being inoculated, and even examined outcomes based on race. This may be the first study of racial disparity in health care in the USA.
This book provides a unique blend of medical history and scientific methods to evaluate processes in health care. Health care quality improvement requires analysis and refinement of processes, in order to increase quality or improve patient safety. The methods are as valid and reliable today, as they were in the 1700's.
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About the Author
Paul Batalden, MD is Professor and Director, Health Care Improvement Leadership Development, Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire. Dr. Batalden wrote the preface of this book.
Mark A. Best, MD, MBA, MPH was a Fellow in the VA Quality Scholars Fellowship Program from 1999 to 2001, at the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Best is a general pathologist and transfusion medicine specialist.
Duncan Neuhauser, PhD is The Charles Elton Blanchard, MD, Professor of Health Management, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University.
Karen Olness, MD is Professor of Pediatrics, Family Medicine, and International Health at the School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Olness is also President 2000 -2003, of the International Society of Hypnosis. Dr. Olness wrote the foreword of this book.
Lee Slavin, MD, MPH, MHA was a Fellow in the VA Quality Scholars Fellowship Program from 1999 to 2001, at the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Slavin is a general surgeon and trauma surgeon.