Dr. Toussaint proposes new ideas on how to transform America’s entire healthcare system.
Potent Medicine offers practical advice and insights to transform healthcare, deliver better patient value, and is focused on these three elements:
1. Delivery of care designed around the patient – using principles and methods to deliver care
focused on patient needs
2. Transparency of treatment quality and cost – making healthcare outcomes public for everyone
3. Payment for outcomes – move away from fee-for-service to a system that pays based on quality and
Potent Medicine is written for healthcare leaders or anyone who cares about improving the healthcare system in North America.
For example, true transparency means plain speaking—using words like death and risk and error. A patient evaluating a hospital for impending heart surgery needs to research a few simple measures of quality.
- Number of medical errors committed in a hospital yesterday, shown both as a number and a
historical trend line
- Number of surgical infections last month, as a trend
- Number of people who come in with chest pains and die
- Percentage of people requiring this particular surgery who died in the hospital, and how many
died within the last six months
- Average days to full recovery
This book provides ideas that can start a thousand journeys across our country to address our healthcare crisis. Through creative collaboration on widespread experiments, we can move slowly from a broken system choking American employers and taxpayers, while failing patients and frustrating providers, to an efficient and safe healthcare system that can be the envy of the world.
This book provides a framework for meaningful open discussions like these:
Physicians, start discussions with your colleagues about payment models and share resources that put the patient at the center. Track your own quality and cost metrics.
Patients, ask informed questions of your caregivers, like “based on what evidence?” Take responsibility for your health decisions.
Payers, know what you’re paying for, release your data to the public, and design payments to improve healthcare value. Support regional and statewide initiatives for payment systems that reward value.
Employers, track the health of employees or members through health risk assessments. Pay for outcomes, not procedures.
Policy-makers, enact legislation for reporting health outcomes that allow states to determine specific measures and publicly report them. Encourage private-public initiatives in every region. Overhaul current antitrust laws to allow deep collaboration between hospitals and physicians. Launch public education campaigns for consumers about using health data to compare hospitals and physicians.
There is no simple answer to achieving a sustainable, quality health care system in this country. There is, however, a path on which to begin. Potent Medicine highlights those steps.
Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award Recipient
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