Mismanagement in the Healthcare Industry

According to this, part of the problem healthcare costs are so high is poor management practices.

A University of Toronto expert in oOperations researcher Research argues that the health care system in the U.S. and Canada could cut ballooning hospital expenditures more than 10% if management adopted the same proven techniques for working withmanaging limited resources that are commonly used in industry manufacturing, financial services, and other industriesand government.

With annual U.S. health care expenditures at $1.3 trillion and hospitals accounting for 32% of this, American hospitals could reduce costs by $42 billion a year – or provide more services at the same cost. Experience in other industries suggest these savings could be higher still.

"The same Ooperations Rresearch techniques that improve the way we allocate our resources in other complex systemsa manufacturing plant could improve the way we run our hospitals and clinics," argues Michael Carter of the University of Toronto.

"Unfortunately there's an attitude that spending money to improve systems only diverts funds from patient care. In fact, putting money into analyzing and optimizing the way we operate our hospitals will greatly benefit patients."

I know degrees are available in nonprofit management and healthcare management, so I wonder what they teach, if it isn't how to make their respective entities more efficient. I would add to this that the healthcare industry is an extrememly poor user of IT. Why do I have to fill out tons of paperwork everytime I go to a specialist? Why can't I fill it out online? Why can't it be embedded on a card with a magnetic strip so they can just swipe it and get my entire history? Why do I have to schedule an appointment when I have some minor thing, so that the doctor can ask me a few questions then refer me to a specialist or give me an antiobiotic? Why can't I interact more via email with a doctor? Why isn't there some gatekeeper who isn't as high paid as a doctor but can tell with reasonable accuracy who should see the doctor and who just needs some Advil and rest? Am I the only one who sees the whole system as woefully inefficient? This is what happens when you take the market out of the picture. Prices are artificially high, services are low, and management innovation is nil.

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