Summer is right around the corner. Days at the beach, mid-summer picnics and poolside lounging beg the companionship of a good book. Here are 10 compelling, healthcare-focused must-reads for the summer season.
America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Back-Room Deals and the Fight Fix Our Broken Healthcare System by Steven Brill (2015).
The book discusses in detail the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; the challenges faced in getting it passed and how its implementation is changing, or not changing, the abuses rampant in the healthcare industry. Mr. Brill, who underwent open heart surgery while completing this book, also lays out a new vision for how we can fix healthcare in our country.
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande, MD (2014).
In this book, Dr. Gawande examines how physicians can not only improve the quality of patient lives, but also improve the inevitable aging and finally death that all human beings face. He discusses models for elevating the quality of life for the elderly and infirm.
Hacking Healthcare: A Guide to Standards, Workflows and Meaningful Use by Fred Trotter and David Uhlman (2011).
The book takes a deep dive into IT in the U.S. healthcare industry, as electronic medical records and other forms of technology are implemented to meet the government's Meaningful Use requirements. The book also differentiates between healthcare facilities and other organizations that use IT and discusses what steps need to be taken to bring clinicians and IT staff together.
How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman, MD (2008).
Dr. Groopman explores the forces and thought processes behind decisions made by physicians. He lays out why physicians succeed and why they make mistakes, and more importantly, how patients can help them avoid those mistakes.
Leadership is Half the Story: A Fresh Look at Followership, Leadership and Collaboration by Marc Hurwitz and Samantha Hurwitz (2015).
The book looks into importance of collaboration among the members of an organization. Irrespective of formal title, all members of a team lead and follow in different situations. This book lays out a model to open up leadership to everyone and enable progressive collaboration.
Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk by Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH (2009).
Sandy Summers explores the media's role in misrepresenting the important work that nurses do. The book ties this misrepresented perception to the nursing shortage and the lack of resources afforded to nurses, and it suggests ways to educate the public on nursing.
Sticking Points: How to Get 4 Generations Working Together in the 12 Places They Come Apart by Haydn Shaw (2013).
This is the first time in American history that four different generations are in the workforce at the same time — the traditionalists, the baby boomers, gen X and the millennials. In this book, Haydn Shaw, a business speaker and generational expert, identifies the 12 places where the four generations see the biggest differences in attitude and thought.
The Power of Ideas to Transform Healthcare: Engaging Staff by Building Daily Lean Management Systems by Steve Hoeft and Robert W. Pryor, MD (2015).
The book focuses on the importance of tapping into ideas that come from one's staff — ideas brought out in projects, problem solving and in "huddles." The authors, from Baylor Scott & White Health describe how to engage all staff and draw out their ideas.
The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper and Fairer Health Care by T. R. Reid (2010).
T.R. Reid travels to industrialized democracies around the world — such as France, Germany, Japan and more — to examine universal healthcare systems. The book provides a clear understanding of healthcare in the United States and around the world.
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande, MD (2011).
Dr. Gawande points out that the complexity of our modern lives can be better handled with the use of simple checklists. He makes a compelling argument by illustrating how checklists could bring about improvements in a number of fields, including healthcare and disaster recovery.