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Heal Health Care System? Start Anew. Dr. Steffie Woolhandler wants to change the health care system. Soon, and not in the way Congress just did. By Judy Foreman. [New York Times: Science]

It’s
a topic very much on my mind these days, since I’ve spent a lot of the
last 3 months as a patient advocate stewarding my father through the
American medical “system.” Good hospitals, fine doctors, and yet a
system that is madly broken and full of cracks. Just one case in point:
3-5 MDs, 10-15 medications, and guess who gets to be responsible for
making sure prescriptions are carried out, problematic interactions are
flagged, negative reactions are caught? Family. My dad’s lucky enough
to have smart and agressive kids, but what if he didn’t?

There’s
a world of opportunity here: As just one example, couldn’t there be a
database system — at least at the hospital, if not an inter-doctor
communicating one — that could coordinate and track all a patient’s
meds? And block potentially dangerous drug combinations?