Study calls for overhaul of healthcare system.Treatment costs for the elderly and chronically ill, especially those at the end of life, could be greatly reduced by adopting a model that focuses more on palliative care in non-hospital settings, according to a recently released study from the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences (CECS CECS College of Engineering and Computer Science
CECS Co-operative Education & Career Services (University of Waterloo, Canada)
CECS Computer Engineering and Computer Science
CECS Center for Embedded Computer Systems ) at Dartmouth Medical School Dartmouth Medical School is the medical school of Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire. The school is closely affiliated with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in neighboring Lebanon, New Hampshire. . The study purports that the healthcare industry lacks evidence-based standards of care Standards of care are medical or psychological treatment guidelines, and can be general or specific. They specify appropriate treatment protocols based on scientific evidence, and collaboration between medical and/or psychological professionals involved in the treatment of a given for those with severe conditions which require medical management but which cannot be cured. It contends that lack of standards leads to overuse overuse Health care The common use of a particular intervention even when the benefits of the intervention don't justify the potential harm or cost–eg, prescribing antibiotics for a probable viral URI. Cf Misuse, Underuse. of acute hospital-based treatment, which leads to overspending and to ineffective levels of treatment and care. As proof, researchers point to wide variations in lengths of stay for patients hospitalized during the last six months of life.
For example, average length of stay was 12.9 hospital days at St. Mary's Hospital (of the Mayo Clinic) versus 23.9 days at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Similarly, ICU ICU intensive care unit.
intensive care unit
see intensive care unit.
ICU days was highest (11.4 days) at the University of California The University of California has a combined student body of more than 191,000 students, over 1,340,000 living alumni, and a combined systemwide and campus endowment of just over $7.3 billion (8th largest in the United States). (UC) at Los Angeles teaching hospital, compared to 3.3 days per decedent at the UC teaching hospital in San Francisco. Moreover, the report asserts that a $123 billion Medicare bill could have been reduced by $40 billion, over a four-year period, if all regions of the country had treated cost-effectively, and points to Intermountain Healthcare in the Salt Lake City region as exemplary. The study essentially calls for an overhaul of the current healthcare system so that it financially rewards provider organizations that reduce excessive use of services while developing quality-conscious strategies of care for the chronically ill. Logon to www.dartmouthatlas.org to find "The Care of Patients with Severe Chronic Illness: An Online Report on the Medicare Program" by the Dartmouth Atlas Project.