Six Innovations That Could Prove Critical To Reforming The Health Care System

The Wall Street Journal offers a collection of stories that looks at changes in health care that could yield big responses: "Health-care innovations come in many shapes and sizes ... [including] the kind that can help reach the goal that continues to elude our policy makers: getting good care to the greatest number of people in the most cost-effective way."

The Journal looks at six innovations including changes in public policy and high technology, hospital procedures and market competition, that improve the doctor-patient relationship. It notes "one of the most promising innovations in the delivery of care isn't a technology or a new device but a simple idea: patient- and family-centered care, an approach that aims to remove the wall between medical professionals and patients, and bring the human touch back to medicine" (Landro, 10/27).

Among the stories is a report on the Veterans Affairs system as a digital pioneer: "As health-care providers gear up for a digital overhaul, they could learn important lessons from an early innovator in the field—veterans hospitals. ... [Those hospitals] made that digital switch years ago—with striking results. Independent studies show that the VA system does better on many measures, especially preventive services and chronic care, than the private sector and Medicare. VA officials say its technology has helped cut down hospitalizations and helped patients live longer" (Zhang, 10/27).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.