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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Surgery with a 90-day warranty

geisinger150.bmpGeisinger Health System in central Pennsylvania is offering what amounts to a 90-day warranty on elective bypass surgery, according to a story in today's New York Times.

That makes Geisinger stand out as a group that has transformed the way it delivers care, Dr. Donald M. Berwick told the Times. A professor of pediatrics and healthcare policy at Harvard Medical School, he is the chief executive of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, a national nonprofit organization whose goal is better patient care.

In almost no other field would consumers tolerate the frequency of error that is common in medicine, Berwick said, and Geisinger has managed to reduce the rate significantly. "Getting everything right is really, really hard," Berwick said.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 08:45 AM
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