What Health Care Can Learn from Skating
A bit unusual and interesting, a medical blogger's take on figure skating scoring history compared to Health Care.
Last edited by SkateFiguring; 12-05-2011 at 12:48 AM.
can't come down to Earth
That's a cool perspective on health care, made more interesting because of the comparisons with figure skating. But, I think it's an issue that many, many people in the field are aware of and it is a lot more difficult to judge the performance of a health care system than figure skating performances. Partly because much of health care is a joint partnership between health professionals and the patients themselves (i.e. it would be like FS judges having to take into consideration the audience involvement or interest in a program, which the IJS says it doesn't really do), and also because health care costs (at least in most of Canada) are constrained by economic considerations from the pool of limited resources, and the efficient use of those resources are important but also often beyond the scope of most health professionals and support staff.
The hospital I was working at a few months ago was trying out a new measure for performance in General Medicine: time to discharge/average length of stay. Yep, it was our job to try to get patients in and out of our floor as quickly as possible. Help them get well enough to leave, or transfer them to long-term care facilities off-site. Every morning during rounds we went through each patient and we had to give estimated time to discharge (1-2 days, 3-5 days, >5 days, awaiting long-term care, etc.) It was frustrating to think from that perspective, with some sad consequences...some patients were clearly not ready to leave but we'd send them out and then they'd come back in a few days later due to some health-related incident.
Finding the appropriate metrics, as the author says, is really hard. Of course, one of the biggest complaints about the CoP is that it simply does not encompass figure skating performances adequately as an integrated whole. If we all knew the answers to fixing these things, we'd have done so already, no?
I smiled at the comparison of figures to doing scales, or judging literary contests using grammar and syntax. I agree (although I like all these things. ) The author ends by explaining the diving system that combines objective difficulty scoring plus subjective execution judging. Well, I remember the controversy surrounding Paul Hamm (Gold) and Random Korean Gymnast (Silver) that blew up when the judges accidentally assigned a lower difficulty to RKG's routine than it ended up being, the difference that would have switched the color of their medals. heh.
Finally, inept health systems are not just about killing patients. It's also about draining society of resources. I'm in Ontario, and considering the Baby Boomer explosion that has started and is yet to fully hit...I'm seriously considering "fleeing" to elsewhere (another province, maybe down South?) because I'm anticipating some ugly situations that might arise in the near future.
Last edited by prettykeys; 12-05-2011 at 01:42 AM.