A wise path to a healthier and happier nation is through strategies and tactics that lead to ever more safe, effective, efficient, affordable, timely, and available care for all. Following this path requires people who:
  • Are focused on consumer-centric care and continuous quality improvement
  • Believe in the virtues of compassion, honesty, and courage
  • Are committed to learning, sharing and collaborating
  • Are willing to be accountable for their actions, and inactions
  • Seek and accept guidance from sound scientific research
  • Use advanced information technologies to gain new knowledge, support decisions, and streamline workflows.

It also requires a change of mindset and policies: Consumers who select providers engaged in a sound, evidence-based, continuous quality improvement programs aimed at gaining and implementing scientific knowledge for cost-effective, personalized care/prevention; and who take responsibility for their wellness through healthy lifestyles and sensible maintenance of their chronic conditions. Providers committed to, and rewarded for, controlling costs and delivering ever-better care by learning and improving through collaboration, investigation, and decision-support. Purchasers who offer effective wellness/prevention programs to their employees. And payers and governmental agencies who help promote all of this through investments and policy change.

These requirements demand big changes in today’s healthcare system, however, since our society has for too long been following an unwise path that is destroying our country.

The Quality though Knowledge model offers a vision and blueprint for paving the path of wisdom in a way that benefits all healthcare stakeholders. Realizing this vision and using this blueprint will take:
  • Time, effort, and money
  • Long-term focus on continuous quality improvement
  • Willingness and courage to do things differently and motivation to learn continually
  • Strong leadership
  • Open-mindedness, flexibility, and critical thinking
  • Creativity, innovation, and the wide-spread exchange of thoughts and insights
  • Ability to value minority views and dissenting opinions
  • Development and use of effective information technologies that support the human mind in making important decisions.

Does our nation have the will and ability to do what it takes to realize the vision? It is easy to make the case that we don’t. There’s ample evidence that greed, self-centeredness, fear, ego, ignorance, self-deception, short-sightedness, prejudice, manipulation, untruth, and a myriad of other human frailties have a tight grip on our collective consciousness and won’t let us evolve into more rational, wise beings.

So, should we just give up, admit failure before we start, and sit idly by, hopeless and helpless, as failing policies continue to drive our healthcare system into the ground?

Or will we push forward believing the beneficial aspects of human nature — our ability to care about others and work together for common good, to imagine and create wonderful things, to cope with great adversity, and to change and develop — will motivate us to change our ways and act wisely?!?

If you want a healthier and happier nation and world, the answer is obvious.

Next: Epilogue

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