Sea change?


We know that the world population is getting older and sicker, but did you know that by 2030, India and China will each have more cases of diabetes than the US? Infectious diseases, too, can spread rapidly; TB knows no bounds and is increasingly drug-resistant. You could call this the ‘globalisation of disease’. 

World-wide, more and more is spent on healthcare, yet returns, in terms of better health, do not correlate well with expenditure. 

Solutions will include:

  • Personlised healthcare, e.g. mapping an individual’s genome to predict disease and nip it in the bud
  • Telehealth, e.g. keeping people out of hospital and maintaining wellness
  • Bigger public health projects, e.g. safe drinking water

A key requirement will be leadership and collaboration.   How can we create a compelling vision of better, affordable, global healthcare?  Comments?

Wrong Site Surgery

My hospital has recently installed a new Theatre Management System (TMS).  It is not a CSC system.  On two occasions in the last month, the wrong patient has been brought to my anaesthetic room.  The errors were quickly noticed and the patient redirected correctly.  This is the first time, in 20+ years’ practice that I can recall this happening, though it is a well-known cause of wrong site surgery

There are ongoing root cause analyses, but I suspect an underlying factor is that we have no reliable way of identifying the patient or the location. 

RFID technology exists that could address this issue.  Perhaps if the patient had been wearing an RFID bracelet, and there were sensors in the doors, such a mistake would not occur.  If such a system were linked to the TMS, maybe it would be foolproof? 

You will be a patient yourself one day and your safety could depend on it!