Globe Mag: Medical mistakes and “professional egocentricity

This is why rich hospitals in Boston look like palaces.  From  today’s Globe magazine.

Our health care system has produced phenomenal achievements, discoveries, and cures. It would be hard not to let that go to our heads. And we have. As a hospital executive, I have noticed this attitude across the health care industry – in those who deliver it, those who teach it, even those who consume it. And though health care reform is now law, we will not see transformational change until we address this collective arrogance that infects our system.

This from an insider, Douglas S. Brown, VP and general counsel of UMass Memorial in Worcester. He notes good intentions but bemoans the arrogance of doctors and hospitals.

Hospitals are governed by mostly volunteer boards. Given the sobering statistics on preventable harm, one would expect these trustees to be intensely focused on overseeing the quality of care in their institutions. But another study published last year in Health Affairs surveyed more than 1,000 US hospital boards, and fewer than half rated quality of care as one of their top two priorities. If a board isn’t sufficiently focused on quality, how can we expect the rest of the organization to be?

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