In a spirit of Christmas gifts more topical than those mentioned below, I offer today and on subsequent days some recent books related to health care and medicine that might warrant your consideration. I start with two today, one from the patient's point of view and one from a hospital administrator's.
Notes from the Waiting Room, Managing a Loved One's End-of-Life Hospitalization was written by Bart Windrum. I met Bart during the patient advocacy session we helped organize at the recent IHI Annual Forum. He starts by explaining the genesis of the book:
This book is not abstract. . . . I write from my involvement as a son who watched both patients die. . . . In both my parents' cases, their dying process was rife with unnecessary grief. I don't mean the grief that accompanies loss. . . . I write as a layperson for lay people. I expose what causes much of the needless shock (and resulting grief) that can accompany any hospitalization and end-of-life experience.
Chapters include: Be an effective personal representative; Making effective declarations; Care and communication in hospitals; family involvement in hospital care; forecasting and ethical support.
Transforming Health Care, by Charles Kenney, tells the story of Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, which has become famous as the hospital in America that has most dramatically endorsed the Toyota Lean Production System. The senior administrative and medical team, led by CEO Dr. Gary Kaplan, started the process with a visit to Japan and then designed a hospital-wide program to bring greater efficiency to many aspects of the institution's operations. They entitled their program the Virginia Mason Production System and made significant improvements in many aspects of health care delivery.