Saturday, August 31, 2013

Why medical care is so expensive...

From my home state of Ohio...

"An Ohio man intended to save the life of his older sister by donating a kidney to her -- a sacrifice on his part that ended in vain a year ago when a nurse mistakenly threw away the donated organ.  
Paul Fudacz Jr. and his sister, Sarah, say the University of Toledo Medical Center "utterly botched" their kidney transplant surgery. The medical center this week said it has "worked hard to learn from this incident" and apologized to the family."
We might have hoped that the medical center had done its "learning" before this criminally negligent tragedy occurred.

Over the past few years, I've been in that stage of life in which I've had to make regular hospital and doctor's office visits with some older relatives. Let's just say that I haven't been impressed by what I've seen. Having worked in the manufacturing industry, where efficiency and accountability are rigidly enforced, I've been astounded by the gross incompetence that I've observed throughout the medical industry.

There are, of course, some individually brilliant physicians and researchers. However, hospitals, given what they do, are probably the most poorly managed institutions in our economy. Record keeping is poor, at best; and there is very little sense of what manufacturing enterprises call "quality control".

I can understand why many people call for more government oversight and involvement in our medical system. But the fact remains that government seldom makes anything more efficient. Government leading the medical industry is truly the blind leading the blind.

What the medical industry needs is intervention from the manufacturing sector. When I worked in a factory, we accounted for every single component that we used in the production process. 

But the University of Toledo Medical Center can't keep track of a human kidney.

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