Reform: Physicians Beat Politicians

I'd rather see healthcare reform come from physicians, not politicians.

By implementing innovations in medical practice developed by physicians, we can improve the efficiency and efficacy of America's healthcare system. Here's one example.

To promote faster, more effective diagnosis at lower administrative costs, Bruce Friedman, MD, active emeritus professor of pathology, advocates the merger of pathology and radiology into a new medical specialty called integrated diagnostics.

The model for this multidisciplinary approach already exists in breast care centers where patients receive imaging and pathology services for rapid, on-the-spot diagnosis of any masses that may be detected.

Dr. Friedman suggests creating integrated diagnostics centers (IDCs) where pathologists and radiologists would work side-by-side to develop higher quality assumptions. Patients would benefit from collaboration of specialists, more convenient scheduling and immediacy of diagnosis.

Currently, few of the nation's more than 8,000 hospital laboratories are involved in integration with radiology services. One pioneer in diagnostic integration is Jonathan Braun, MD, PhD, Chairman of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UCLA. He is advancing the convergence of diagnostics at the UCLA Radiology Pathology Center.

Beyond hospitals, existing clinics already providing imaging and pathology services could be adapted into IDCs , as well as small hospitals that are no longer economically viable.

Doctors Freidman, Braun and their colleagues are fine examples of creating a better healthcare system from within. That's true reform.

—Tom DeSanto

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