nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Britain's Health Service Overhaul: Looking At Health Rather Than Programs

I wrote recently on Britain's plan to overhaul their dysfunctional health care system by putting control back in the hands of doctors and patients.

Further indications are that they want to get away from process measurements, like waiting times, and start looking at their dismal results on patient outcomes (see my post on problems they see with their current system).  Like...did the patient get well?

According to BBC News Health (July 1),
The first set of new standards is to be developed by April 2011. Under the planned shake up of the health service the new NHS commissioning board would use them to hold GP groups to account. Family doctors are due to take over NHS budgets for their local community by 2013.
The Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: "I want to free doctors and nurses to focus on what really matters - better results for their patients - instead of them being stifled by top down targets."

Access to care is always important, but when you lose track of how well the patients are actually doing, you've missed the point.  Britain's belated recognition that health care is about what happens with patient's health should be applauded.

But since we're marching down the same road they've decided to abandon, shouldn't we pay more attention to how poorly that worked?

Doc D

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