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Best Quality Columns of 2012 from A to Z

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 3, 2013

Since the start of any year paves the way for reflection, I thought I'd revisit some of the most-read columns in this space over the last year.

Topics ran the gamut, literally from A, for architectural design of one innovative California hospital to Z, for the efforts of providers to reduce hospital-acquired infections to zero.

A is for Architecture
This column described the bold design concepts launched with the August opening of Palomar Medical Center's 288-bed hospital in Escondido, about 20 miles north of San Diego, and was the most popular quality column of 2013.  Automatic faucets turn on to prompt hand-washing.

B is for Berwick
One year after he left his post as administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Don Berwick, MD, let loose on what he thinks is wrong in healthcare. This former pediatrician, who co-founded the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, thinks hospitals and doctors should do more to keep people from needing their services.

Berwick talked non-stop for more than an hour in a December conversation and was so engrossing, the interview needed to be divided into two parts.

C is for Canada
Why healthcare costs in America are trillions higher than they are in Canada was the topic of a piece in the Archives of Internal Medicine, and prompted an interview with one of the two authors, Steffie Woolhandler, MD, an unrepentant single payer advocate.

This column provoked numerous comments. One writer wrote the article was "false, misleading, and a joke." While another wrote: "Similar and even more detailed comparisons have been done by WHO (the World Health Organization) years ago. Embarrassing [sic] enough the results were similar."

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