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Demanding Medical Excellence

Doctors and Accountability in the Information Age

Demanding Medical Excellence is a groundbreaking and accessible work that reveals how the information revolution is changing the way doctors make decisions. Michael Millenson, a three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee as a health-care reporter for the Chicago Tribune, illustrates serious flaws in contemporary medical practice and shows ways to improve care and save tens of thousands of lives.

"If you read only one book this year, read Demanding Medical Excellence. It’s that good, and the revolution it describes is that important."—Health Affairs

"Millenson has done yeoman’s work in amassing and understanding that avalanche of data that lies beneath most of the managed-care headlines. . . . What he finds is both important and well-explained: inconsistency, overlap, and inattention to quality measures in medical treatment cost more and are more dangerous than most cost-cutting measures. . . . [This book] elevates the healthcare debate to a new level and deserves a wide readership."—Library Journal

"An involving, human narrative explaining how we got to where we are today and what lies ahead."—Mark Taylor, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Read this book. It will entertain you, challenge, and strengthen you in your quest for better accountability in health care."—Alex R. Rodriguez, M.D., American Journal of Medical Quality

"Finally, a health-care book that doesn’t wring its hands over the decline of medicine at the hands of money-grubbing corporations. . . . This is a readable account of what Millenson calls a ’quiet revolution’ in health care, and his optimism makes for a refreshing change."—Publishers Weekly

"With meticulous detail, historical accuracy, and an uncommon understanding of the clinical field, Millenson documents our struggle to reach accountability."—Saty Satya-Murti, M.D., Journal of the American Medical Association

Read an interview with the author.

469 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1997, 1999


Sociology: Medical Sociology, Social Institutions

Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Introduction: A Different Kind of Revolution
Part One: Doing the Right Thing and Doing the Right Thing Right
1. Some Do, Some Don’t
2. What Doctors Don’t Know
3. First, Do No Harm
4. Saving Lives, Bit by Byte
5. State of the Art
6. State of the Science
Part Two: Changing the Paradigm of Medical Practice
7. Trust Me, I’m a Doctor
8. The Doctor’s Car and the Car Companies’ Doctors
Part Three: Holding Medicine Accountable for Results
9. A New York State of Mind
10. The Empire Strikes Back
11. Show Time
12. Changing the System from Within
13. The Early Worm Gets the Bird
Part Four: The Promise and Perils of Managed Care
14. Money, Managed Care, and Mom
15. Medicine in the Information Age
16. Power to the Population
Epilogue: A Celebration of Medicine’s Future
Afterword: Still Demanding Medical Excellence

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