Introducing quality assurance into the American health care system is one of the topmost priorities of the administration's reform plan. To explain just what quality would look like, Big Think spoke with doctor and author Ross Donaldson this morning.
"Outcomes are a very low part of the American system," Ross Donaldson said in his analysis of the current framework.
In an outcomes-based health care system standardized records would track a patient's trajectory from malady to recovery.
Donaldson pinpointed much of the reason we have not fully adopted an outcomes-based system on the incentives-based structure in which medical professionals currently operate. Performance in many hospitals is based on the number of tests and procedures they deliver, not the patient's final bill of health.
Donaldson touted the electronic medical record which he said has an immense potential to bring coherence to the system. Still, he said, there is an over-reliance on technology in the American system.
"We have every last toy that you could potentially have," he said, though we lack a way to fully integrate the toys into the health care superstructure.
The full interview with Dr. Donaldson will be available shortly.
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A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.
- Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
- When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
- Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
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