Now is the time for medical communities everywhere to examine existing processes critically, pursue thoughtful advances in how we deliver care, and promote a culture that engages staff in the improvement process. Taking care of patients is not only about the therapies we provide but also having the most effective care delivery systems possible. By that metric, American health care still has significant room to grow.
Dr. Sidney C. Smith Jr. didn't have just one a-ha moment that turned him into a crusader against heart disease. He had too many to count. Frequently, they fit the same pattern: Someone is rushed to the hospital with a heart attack after a buildup of fatty deposits called plaque has blocked a coronary artery.
The National Institutes of Health has funded four pilot projects to explore the use of genome sequencing in health care of newborns. Over the next several years, these pilot projects will yield useful information that will help us assess the potential for genome sequencing, its value in health care, and its ethical dimensions.