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6 Reasons to Be Thankful for Our Healthcare System

Reasons to Be Thankful for Our Healthcare System

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The current public dialogue on our healthcare system seems to be mostly negative, generating a lot of anxiety and fear about our personal access to healthcare. However, it is always appropriate to pause and be grateful for the healthcare system we have today.


In this season of giving thanks, here are the

6 Reasons We're Thankful for Our Country's Healthcare System:

1. Dedicated Nurses & Physicians

We are indeed fortunate to have a wide range of dedicated healthcare providers. We have huge numbers of nurses and physicians working on the frontline every day to provide effective and quality care, and work tirelessly to see our needs are met when we are weakest.

“To do what nobody else will do, a way that nobody else can do, in spite of all we go through; that is to be a nurse.” – Rawsi Williams, J.D., B.S.N., R.N., CQRMS-LTC

2. It's More than Nurses & Physicians

Add to the nurses and physicians all of the other staff that make our healthcare system work: 
• Pharmacy staff
• Laboratory staff
• Radiology staff
• Engineering staff
• Administrative staff
• Housekeeping staff

And the list goes on. We have staff at all levels and departments looking after us and aiding in our care. All of these people work every day to provide a quality healthcare system for all of us.

3. Quality of Hospital Care is Becoming More Transparent

The ability of any individual to judge quality of care is improving.

• Is it simple yet? - NO
• Is it confusing as many parties (The Joint Commission, US News, The Leap Frog Group, etc.) publish different lists that show wide variation at different times? - YES
• Is arriving at a simple, consumer-relevant system that accounts for the complexity of healthcare easy? - NO
• Is the proposed CMS five-star rating using Hospital Compares arguably significant progress? - YES

4. Obesity Rates Leveling Off

Although obesity is still a major concern, we’ve seen the efforts of many national and local healthcare organizations attempting to change the increasing obesity trend and they appear to be working.

U.S. residents spend as much as $147 billion annually on obesity-related healthcare costs, according to the CDC. While we have an individual and collective challenge with obesity rates, studies show that from 2010 to 2012, the adult obesity rate dropped nearly one percent. The mid- and long-term benefits of the obesity rate trending down on the improvement of our overall health and associated cost reductions is significant.

5. Access to Care is Improving

There doesn't seem to be any coherent moral, ethical, religious or spiritual basis to not having healthcare available to all. Yes, it's contentious and political; however, the latest changes move us significantly down the path of greater access.

With the noise level dropping, or increasing, depending on the day and the source, the implications of this change are becoming more widely understood. If you are looking for an understandable non-partisan explanation, the Kaiser Family Foundation has a well-done short YouTube video, The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare.

6. Emphasis on Patient Safety & Quality of Care is Improving

Patient safety and quality of care is getting more attention from senior healthcare management. With the increasing public transparency of comparative quality results, most senior healthcare managers are becoming increasingly engaged in driving improvements in patient safety, particularly in correcting perhaps the most alarming number of all in healthcare—the preventable death rate, which has remained unchanged for more than ten years. 

- Don Death, CEO

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