Monday, April 11, 2005

On Using Medical Descriptions

In a New York Times article about New York's troubled hospital sector:
Twelve New York hospitals have closed in the last 27 months, and others have shut wings, wards and clinics. The industry as a whole has lost money five years in a row in New York, while turning a profit nationally each year. Even some of New York's biggest, most sophisticated teaching hospitals, like Mount Sinai and St. Vincent's in Manhattan, have been hemorrhaging money. Just last week, county officials scrambled to assemble a cash infusion for Westchester Medical Center.
Though a little cute, I wonder if analogy language like this only maintains the flawed and failing perspectives and policies regarding hospitals and the city's medical system. Don't concieve of the hospitals as patients if there's a need for a solution to a problem centered on how to deal with patients. If the old way isn't working well, then perhaps folks need to develop a different set of lenses and words to view and discuss the system.


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