In the News
The U.S. health care system wasted $750 billion in 2009. This amount of money could provide health insurance for many—150 million workers, for example—according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Best Care at Lower Cost. The report identifies deficiencies, such as primary care physicians needing to coordinate with an average of 229 other physicians in a single year to treat Medicare patients, and 75% of hospital patients not knowing the clinician overseeing their care. But it also defines ways to improve heath care, including computing, information science, and connectivity tools that enhance patient–physician communication. The safety and quality of care will improve by applying evidence-based practices and including patients, families, and other caregivers on the care team. The IOM envisions a learning health care system that combines science and informatics, patient–clinician partnerships, incentives, and a culture that promotes continuous improvements. Read Mary D. Naylor's post about the role of nurses in such changes on AJN's blog, Off the Charts, at http://bit.ly/Rpy1BR.