High Performance Health Care: It Takes a World of Innovations

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<p>The many contributions the United States has made to the world of medicine are lauded by Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis in her latest <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=19962&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Faboutus%2Faboutus%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D321301%26%23doc321301">"From the President" column.</a> Yet Davis goes on to point out that "the best teacher should never stop learning," noting that the U.S. health care system could benefit by studying how other countries address the toughest problems.<Br><br>Davis reviews findings from the most recent Commonwealth Fund international survey, which asked adults with medical problems in Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S. to assess their experiences with the health care system. The survey found that, while all countries have plenty of room for improvement, the U.S. stands out for its high patient-reported error rates, inefficient coordination of care, and barriers to accessing needed services.<br><bR>In her column, Davis also highlights innovations in other countries, such as Germany's national benchmarking program, primary care cooperatives in Denmark and the Netherlands, and the U.K.'s pay-for-performance initiative. American policymakers, she writes, should look to such experiments when considering new health care approaches in this country.</p>