Remaking American Medicine…
Health Care for the 21st Century
Remaking American Medicine…Health Care for the 21st Century, a four-part television series intended for broadcast on PBS in October 2006, will tell stories of change. The goal is to inspire and empower viewers, both members of the general public and health care professionals, to join in efforts to transform American health care.
Drawing on unprecedented access to health care institutions across the nation, the series will present detailed and emotionally engaging profiles of individuals struggling to fix our broken health care system. The stories will be told through the eyes of doctors, nurses, administrators and patients, showing their struggles, their setbacks and their victories.
Program One - “Silent Killer” -- Every year at least 98,000 Americans are killed – and countless more are injured – as a result of medical errors. This program begins by profiling the efforts of Sorrel King, whose 18-month-old daughter died at one of the most respected hospitals in the world, Johns Hopkins. King has gone from grieving victim to engaged activist, partnering with Johns Hopkins to make safety a top priority at the institution. Now she has joined forces with Dr. Donald Berwick, a nationally recognized patient safety advocate, to save 100,000 lives in American hospitals.
Program Two - “First Do No Harm” -- This program focuses on the impact of hospital-acquired infections and medical errors in two institutions, and follows the efforts of physicians who are challenging their colleagues to live up to their oath to “First Do No Harm.” In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Chief of Medicine Dr. Richard Shannon is confronting an epidemic of hospital-acquired infections that are shattering the lives of their victims. Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey is engaged in an effort to completely transform the way the institution delivers care. The goal in both hospitals is to ensure that the people trusted to provide safe and effective medical treatment do not harm patients.
Program Three - “The Stealth Epidemic” -- Chronic diseases, like diabetes and congestive heart failure, affect nearly 100 million Americans, and treatment of these illnesses consumes nearly 70 percent of all health care resources. Yet doctors are often unable to prevent needless suffering or even death, and these failures are threatening the viability of our entire health care system. This program looks at groundbreaking efforts in two very different communities -- Los Angeles and Whatcom County in the state of Washington -- that are fundamentally transforming the physician-patient relationship … and offer a glimmer of hope for patients across the country who are struggling with their chronic conditions.
Program Four - “Hand in Hand” -- As medicine continues to become more and more technologically sophisticated and the systems that deliver medical care become more complex, the relationship between providers and patients and their families is more important than ever. This final program tells the story of patients and families who have formed a unique bond in a teaching hospital in Augusta, Georgia to transform the institution into a nationally recognized facility, where partnership is a guiding vision to the care it delivers.