Care from start to finish

关心从开始到结束

Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | April 01, 2014
From the April 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Health care has faced major challenges ever since specialties became commonplace. If we look back generations, the family doctor took care of almost any ailment afflicting his patients. It wasn't because the talent was so much greater than it is today, but rather the technology was so lacking and we simply didn't have as much information about treating disease. So doctors worked with the tools they had and by extension, the work they did was of a limited range. The silver lining though, and the ideal that health care seems to be realizing now, is that those old-time doctors had a direct line into their patients' full medical history.

With one doctor in charge of a patient's well-being from birth to death (of either patient or practitioner) it was unlikely that any procedure or prescription would slip by without the doctor's knowledge. Yet, this type of care has been largely absent from many urban and suburban areas for decades. Family doctors stopped being considered jacks-of-all-trades and patients, when not restricted by their insurance coverage, sought out specialists.

Finally though, that start-to-finish patient interaction is experiencing a resurgence. Today, hospitalists are providing knowledgeable tracking and guidance of patients throughout their medical travails and they have an abundant set of tools they can utilize to facilitate their role. In other words, much like medical science is taking a second look at some traditional "folk" remedies, medical management is looking at some traditional ways of managing patients and realizing there's something valuable. Hospitalists are one of the fasted growing professions in health care today and we delve into what's making them so in-demand in our feature on page 32.

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Another story of note in this issue is an interview with the legendary Chuck Lauer as he gears up to be the keynote speaker at the Spring IDN Summit (p. 28). This issue also features an interview with Robert Robbins, president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center and chair of the Medical World Americas' executive advisory committee. Robbins talks about the upcoming show, which is Medica's foray into the U.S. market (p. 36). Meanwhile, David Mason, CEO of HCP discusses what's planned for their show taking place at the end of April in St. Louis (p. 30). Rounding out the Q&As, we have an interview with Dr. Richard Vaughn, system vice president and chief medical information officer for the Center for Clinical Excellence at SSM Health Care. Vaughn explains some of the challenges he faces when the SSM Health Care system brings in another hospital to the group (p. 22).

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