Posted by: HAT | July 7, 2010

Quick Fact-Finding on Dr. Donald Berwick

Whether or not it was smart for President Obama to appoint Dr. Donald Berwick at a time when the Senate would not be able to reject that appointment, it might be a good idea to find out some things about Berwick, besides what the news media and the blogs seem to be focusing on. (OMG, someone who thinks it’s a good idea for a rich country to provide universal health care.)

I think to myself: everything is on the internet these days. Sure enough:

Berwick’s Harvard faculty bio

Free online text of more of his articles than Orrin Hatch has probably read [n.b., edited the link 07-07-10 22:56]

The web site of the Institute for Health Care Improvement, his institutional initiative.

What’s sad to me is that the presumption was that the Senate would have rejected someone with this man’s qualifications and commitments. And that the presumption might really be reasonable.

[Addendum: This lecture on health care improvement and research seemed particularly impressive and instructive to me. It raises basic questions, like why do Americans pay more for healthcare than citizens of other wealthy countries but have worse healthcare outcomes? And why are there immense and irrational variations in healthcare utilization by region? And why is there NO RELATIONSHIP between money spent on healthcare and healthcare outcome in some cases? But most important, what kinds of changes in the various intersecting systems of healthcare provision would need to be made to have an effect on the relief of human suffering?]

updated 07-07-10 23:39


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