Austin ER Gets Props

A series of reports by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine is making news across the country. NPR did a story on it this morning and the Statesman ran one today as well. The reports highlight the dismal state of health care in this country and warns that the hospital and EMS infrastructure in most cities would be unable to handle crises like an outbreak of avian flu or terrorist attack.

The report did give examples of systems that had better coordination and gave Austin/Travis County’s emergency medical system props for being a good example. While a lot of this has to be done at the local level, it’s a symptom of a much larger problem with healthcare in this country. I sure am glad that our congresscritters and leadership in Washington are spending time protecting my marriage instead of addressing frivolous things like my family’s health.

You can read the reports for yourself at the Institute of Medicine website.

Update (2006.06.15 12:02 CDT): Mahablog comments on the Washington Post article on these reports and expands (as usual) better than I ever could. This all reminded me of a couple of posts by Malcolm Gladwell earlier this year.

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