Image: Chris Schroeder under CC 3.0
In the Boston Globe, an opinion editorial by Douglas S. Brown has an interesting viewpoint regarding the problems that have faced the American health insurance system for decades. His view is that ego and hubris from all sources (hospitals, doctors, insurers, medical school professors, and even patients) has stood in the way of improvements.
He acknowledges that our nation is deservedly proud of technological innovations that increase the length and quality of life. However, we are behind several other developed nations in efficiency, quality, and access–although many refuse to acknowledge it. For example, there are too many preventable medical errors each year. Many hospital boards, meanwhile, are more concerned about flashy cosmetic improvements and additional facilities.
Physicians are trained as independent craftspersons, and have historically had little interest in teamwork. However, current compensation from health insurance plans–as well as the best outcomes–depend on cooperation. Brown feels that we can learn from our errors in order to truly become the best health care system in the world.