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Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won't Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care Hardcover – September 18, 2012
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“A startling revelation of the dysfunction deeply embedded in the very culture of American medical practice, problems that health care reform scarcely begins to address.” ―Peter Boyer, senior correspondent for Newsweek
“A searing indictment from the inside, arguing that the modern health-care industry, unlike almost every other, doesn't disclose its performance or pricing practices to the public and keeps under wraps information about mistakes and substandard quality.” ―Laura Landro, The Wall Street Journal
“Makary's diagnosis is dangerous, damaging secrecy; his therapy is radical transparency…. [Makary's] argument is powerful…. [he] makes a strong case that the system we have is a disaster for patients.” ―Trine Tsouderos, Chicago Tribune Printers Row
“A very readable, thought-provoking book that will be of interest to health-care consumers, providers, and legislators. The problems pointed out and the solutions suggested deserve to be part of a national discussion.” ―Richard Maxwell, Porter Adventist Hospital Library, Denver, Library Journal
“Makary's book makes it perfectly clear that data transparency not only allows people to make informed decisions about their health but also nudges hospitals and physicians to be more vigilant and efficient.” ―Tony Miksanek, Booklist
“You will be a wiser health consumer for reading this book.” ―Michael E Johns, M.D., Chancellor, Emory University
“This thought-provoking guide from a leader in the field is a must-read for M.D.s, and an eye-opener for the rest of us.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Unaccountable is a gripping story about what's wrong with the American healthcare system and what we might do to make it better.” ―Peter Pronovost MD, PhD, Executive Vice-President, Johns Hopkins Hospital
“Every once in a while a book comes along that rocks the foundations of an established order that's seriously in need of being shaken. The modern American hospital is that establishment and Unaccountable is that book.” ―Shannon Brownlee, author of Overtreated
“A galvanizing book full of shocking truths about the current state of health care.” ―Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
If the public only knew what really goes on, you would be shocked. In my line of work, I am privy to settlements between hospitals and patients who have been harmed. One common element in all these settlements is confidentiality. Nobody can say anything about the lawsuit, the amount of the settlement or anything. How does the withholding of that information help the public? It doesn't.
The transparency that Dr. Makary talks about is what is needed. But changing the way medicine is done in the USA won't happen overnight. I highly recommend that everyone read 'Unaccountable' and if you find this of interest another book along the same lines called 'Getting Over Going Under: 5 Things you Must Know before Anesthesia' by Dr. Barry Friedberg which covers his 20+ year struggle to change just one item in health care, i.e. getting hospitals to use a brain monitor during surgery.
Hats off to both doctors for shedding light on the health care industry's culturally ingrained obfuscation of the truth and resistance to change.
"Unaccountable" is a raw and stark look inside the American medical system. Sucking you in, right from the start, with the true story of HODAD - a renowned surgeon at Harvard - worshiped by his patients, but known to all the residents to be the most dangerous doctor on staff - Dr Makary paints a picture of a medical system that is viewed to be a well-oiled machine, but in actuality, is more like "The Wild West," rampant in medical mistakes and impaired physicians.
Dr. Makary argues that transparency is the key to revolutionizing health care in the U.S., and is, instead, convinced doctors and hospital administrators need to stop their ever-present culture of secrecy. Patients should not walk blindly into hospitals, but have full access to a wealth of data regarding infection rates and surgical complications. According to Dr. Makary, hospitals have little to no incentive to improve these "danger zones," to the detriment of their patients, and only once they are forced to be competitive in their level of patient safety will Americans receive the care they deserve.
Though, a bit disappointed that Dr. Makary did not delve a bit more into the unethical mistakes of the pharmaceutical industry, (perhaps he will take on this issue in his next book) he does horrifyingly discuss how cancer doctors actually make a good deal more money if a patient is prescribed chemo than if he is given an alternative option.
"Unaccountable" is not just for doctors, though, it is imperative they devour every word. Above all, it is a necessary read for everyone who has ever known someone in a hospital, has ever been in a hospital or might someday find themselves a patient in a hospital. I'm fairly certain that doesn't leave anyone out!
Unaccountable does an incredible job delving into the disturbing world of medicine and unaccountability in our healthcare system. And, don't get me wrong, I, too, was fascinated by the stories of medical mistakes and how those who experience them are `gagged' - meaning, they sign an agreement that, in order to receive their settlement, they will never speak of what happened to them (thus protecting the skin of those negligent and eliminating any chance for change).
But, those terrible stories are not the most important thing I took away from this book - and I think if you walk away from this book filled with fear (or perhaps, stay away from it because of it), you are missing the whole point!
Unaccountable is a book of hope! It has invaluable tools inside that can empower the patient and their families in times of crises when it seems like there are no answers. Having lived through a few horrible medical experiences with ones I've loved, the moment your family member or friend is brought into the ER is NOT the time to begin wondering what to say and ask and "where do we go from here?"
We need to have this information in advance and Unaccountable is like a God-given handbook on how to navigate an incredibly confusing and non-patient-friendly system.
The first thing we each need to do? Take Dr. Makary's list (on page 64) of questions you should ask before any procedure - and then we need to type it up on a little card, laminate it, stick it in our wallet and give a copy to everyone we love for Christmas! You never know when you will need that list! Will you have the book with you when you do? No!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Eye-opening and very helpful book for family or yourself when you are dealing with hospitals for your care. Read morePublished 1 day ago by linda Pittman
This remarkable book should be read by every adult who depends on the US health care system for medical and surgical services. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Cyrus O. Harbourt
Shocking information but unfortunately all true, i am a nurse practitioner in a busy university hospital. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kathleen Schmidt
I bought this as an Audible book. The few bad reviews are bogus...probably representing "doctors" who have killed their share of patients.Published 2 months ago by J. Tew
Well written and thoughtful. I will recommend this book to all friends before receiving serious medical care, as well as friends in the health care field.Published 2 months ago by Enemicus
The problems Dr. Makary describes are real and frightening. He explains how many aspects of the medical community have strayed from the path of healing to reaping financial... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Louise Rosen