December 28, 2011

Common Sense Still the Only Answer

Throwing money at a problem does not get improved results. This from a study about how hospitals have invested heavily in new heart attack care programs, yet only see a one (1) percent improvement in access to that care. This seems to be a problem for much of the medical community.

So what is the problem? Apparently, the distance people have to travel before they can receive the needed attention. So of course in areas of heaviest population, people near hospitals have the best opportunity to get the needed care, while in the most rural areas of our country, care is often not available within the time frame required to treat patients before damage is done.

It does not matter that the hospitals have spent large sums of money for heart attack care programs when people are not able to get to the hospitals in time. Once the damage is done, no amount of care will be able to completely reverse the damage. Very few people are going to move closer to a hospital just to be within driving distance for heart attack care.

The study only gave two possibilities for improved care and I have to wonder if this is the only best answer. Yes, I can agree with the proposal as being needed, especially for many areas of the US that need enhanced ambulance services and establishing well-positioned heart care programs in the more rural areas. The key is well-positioned programs. Many rural hospitals are near closing because of financial problems that will reduce the number of places for well-positioned heart care programs.

Where will the funds come from for these programs? This is of course not the position of the study to state. This is a problem that needs addressing in the months and years ahead. This needs to be resolved for more than just heart care, but for several other diseases as well.

This study does highlight one of the problems happening now and needs to be solved.

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