Health Care Delivery System Needs Overhaul, Experts Say

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<p>Substantial improvements in the quality of U.S. health care and the way it is delivered to patients will require profound organizational changes in our health system, say experts responding to the <a href="/surveys/surveys_show.htm?doc_id=678193">latest Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey</a>.<br><br>Nearly nine of 10 respondents to the survey agree on the need for fundamental change. None of the experts said no changes were needed, and only a relative few--8 percent--said modest changes to the health care delivery system would be sufficient.<br><br>Health care opinion leaders are in agreement that a more organized delivery system--one with enhanced access to care, care coordination, and health information exchanges, and one in which hospitals, practices, and providers work together to improve quality and efficiency--is more likely to deliver high-quality, efficient, and patient-centered care than a non-organized system.<br><br>"Although universal coverage is a prerequisite for a high performance health system, coverage needs to be coupled with care that is accessible and well coordinated," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis.<br><br>For additional perspective on the survey's findings, read commentaries by <a href="/publications/commentaries/2008/apr/the-third-path--systemic-change-will-focus-on-returning-value
">Gregory P. Poulsen, M.B.A.</a>, senior vice president at Intermountain Health Care and member of The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System, and <a href="/publications/commentaries/2008/apr/the-medical-home--round-two--building-on-a-solid-foundation
">Martin-J. Sepulveda, M.D.</a>, vice president for well-being services and health benefits at IBM Corp.</p>