This blog is the second in a series to highlight some of the issues raised in the recent forum, Healing Health Care: Curing the System of Overuse, Underuse and Misuse. The forum, hosted by Universal Health Care Foundation and our parent organization CHART, featured Shannon Brownlee, vice president of the Lown Institute and author of “Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer.”
Last week’s blog focused on overuse. This week we’re highlighting what Brownlee had to say about misuse — about how our bloated health care system doesn’t only waste resources on unnecessary care, it also causes unnecessary harm.
The forum took place at Quinnipiac University’s Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and there were many clinicians in attendance. Brownlee asked them a series of questions:
- How many people in this room actually take care of patients?
- How many of you have seen patients get care they don’t need?
- How many have seen patients get harmed by it?
There were a lot of raised hands in the audience. Brownlee encouraged the clinicians and consumers in the audience to join forces to shape a better health care system. Here is a brief clip from her talk:
There are many great resources available to help consumers learn more about protecting themselves from harm. Here are just a few:
- Consumers Union Safe Patient Project
- Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Score website where ratings of hospitals in Connecticut can be found. Grades range from “A” to “F”
- A recent article from Consumer Reports on “How to Survive Your Hospital Stay”
- Medicare.gov, where quality ratings can be found and compared for a variety of health care services including hospitals, nursing homes and physician care
- The Connecticut Center for Patient Safety website
The next blog will focus on what Brownlee had to say about underuse.