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Health Attitude: Unraveling and Solving the Complexities of Healthcare Paperback – March 18, 2015
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About the Author
John R. Patrick is president of Attitude LLC and former VP of Internet Technology at IBM. John was a founding member of the World Wide Web Consortium at MIT in 1994, a founding member and past chairman of the Global Internet Project, and a member of the Internet Society and the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is a Fellow of the IEEE. John has served on a number of boards including Danbury Hospital and the Western Connecticut Health Network from 2003 to 2013. He is currently a board member at OCLC and a member of the WCHN Biomedical Research Institute Advisory Council. John holds a Doctor of Health Administration (DHA). He is the author of Net Attitude, published by Perseus Publishing. John lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut, with his wife Joanne. His website is at healthattitude.org. You can follow him on Twitter @johnrpatrick or email at email@example.com.
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Patrick's devotion to his topic is obvious as you read the table of contents. It's meticulous, detailed, and well organized. Some of the topic items are only a couple of paragraphs long, others go for many pages. The short ones are typically self-evident and the longer passages present issues, problems, and solutions. For instance, Patrick has little patience for an industry so wedded to fax and pagers. Far more importantly, he devotes significant space to topics such as patient safety, including hospital-acquired conditions and medical devices. Electronic health records show up several times, and Patrick continually builds the case for their widespread use.
Patrick is balanced on the ins and outs of medical practice, but comes down firmly on the progressive side in sections such as "Healthcare: A Right or a Privilege?" The thread running through the entire book has been about the potential for inequality, and this is where he brings up the big guns. As he says, "I advocate the principle, everybody pays something according to their means." But no one goes uninsured. He shows that a country may have just one payer or as many as 200, with meaty discussion and deep thinking about this and related funding topics.
Every politician, regardless of party or position, should read this book with I hope, an open mind. This is an important book that can help improve healthcare in the US, whether the reader agrees with Patrick's conclusions or not. Health Attitude is also vital to insurance and corporate executives, as well as physicians, hospital administrators, and concerned citizens.
Note: John Patrick and I had business dealings when he was in charge of IBM's ThinkPad line and other responsibilities, and I was editor-in-chief of PC Magazine and subsequent operations. We have not seen one another in roughly 20 years, although we have conversed occasionally. He invited me to review Health Attitude.
After reading this book, I would recommend it to anyone who wants a better understanding of healthcare in the US.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking for practical and innovative improvements to our extremely complex healthcare system, or to just better understand it.
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