NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Institute Of Medicine Wants U.S. Medical Care "Reinvented"

March 2, 2001

In a new report, the Institute of Medicine faults health care in the United States and calls on Congress to create a $1 billion "innovation fund" to spend on efforts to fix the system over the next three to five years. It calls on the medical community to rely more heavily on computer technology.

Here are a few of the recommendations:

  • Vast improvements must be made in the way doctors, nurses and other professionals communicate -- and they must be taught to act as teams.
  • Care should be made available when patients need it, 24 hours a day, by Internet, phone or face to face.
  • Patients should have more control of their treatment and medical records -- and be able to get data on how doctors and hospitals measure up.
  • Financial incentives are needed to reward quality.

Patients -- particularly those with long-term illnesses -- fall through the gaps when medical professionals don't communicate or records are lost, illegible or not quickly retrievable, the IOM report warned.

Source: Robert Davis and Julie Appleby, "Report: Health System Broken," USA Today, March 2, 2001.

For Institute of Medicine report


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