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HL20: Martin Makary, MD—Pushing to Improve Transparency and Quality Standards

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, November 22, 2013

In our annual HealthLeaders 20, we profile individuals who are changing healthcare for the better. Some are longtime industry fixtures; others would clearly be considered outsiders. Some are revered; others would not win many popularity contests. All of them are playing a crucial role in making the healthcare industry better. This is the story of Martin Makary, MD.

This profile was published in the December, 2013 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

What we need is a Sarbanes-Oxley for medicine, so reporting can be standardized and there can be accountability."

Martin Makary, MD, is a prominent Johns Hopkins pancreas surgeon specializing in minimally invasive surgery and eyelet transplants.

He's also an outspoken surgical quality advocate who wants "trust restored to healthcare through public reporting and transparency," and for healthcare "to move to more transparency, from the bedside to the hospital's performance."

He's pushing for the use of video cameras in operating rooms to better monitor quality and technique, and for standardized national requirements for hospitals to report adverse events resulting from surgery. This way hospitals can learn from their mistakes using peer review and video-based coaching for quality improvement.

Hospitals should also be required to make available the data on their adoption of best practices, such as procedures done with minimally invasive laparoscopic methods that are associated with lower infection rates, reduced pain, and better outcomes, versus open surgery.

And he wants registries that now collect quality and outcomes statistics from surgical and other hospital procedures—especially those registries that receive taxpayer support—to be available to the public.

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