9 Books On Healthcare For People Who Want To Fix Healthcare

By Natasha Awasthi,

Before this next blog post, we wanted to take a moment to introduce a new blog contributor: Natasha Awasthi. Natasha is a self proclaimed digital health nerd and passionate data enthusiast. In this post, she shares her extensive research with us in the form of, you guessed it, a reading list. 

Enthusiasts for change get ready - whether you're a healthcare clearinghouse pro, a healthcare API visionary, a provider or a payer, hold onto your hats and read on:


My professional network is comprised mainly of two kinds of people: those who want healthcare fixed "right now!" and those who wanted it fixed yesterday. I'm a digital health nerd, so this monochromatic nature of my work-related chatter is expected. If you want to join the conversation, or double down on it, then the below reading list is for you.


The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T.R. Reid

Reid will take you on a tour of other industrialized nations to study, compare and contrast their healthcare offering with ours.



The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands by Eric Topol, MD

Eric Topol, the author and cardiologist, paints a picture of the future of healthcare where we, the patients, will be in control. Topol predicts that the smartphone will cause a "democratization" of medicine. He suggests that the tiny device will empower patients in a big way; that it will balance the asymmetry of information, and knowledge, and hence power between the current healthcare system and its consumers.

Warning! People who work in healthcare: sections of this book may induce occasional eye-rolling. For other constituents, please note you may experience bouts of cheering and clapping.



The Health Care Handbook: A Clear and Concise Guide to the United States Health Care System, 2nd Edition by Elisabeth Askin, MD and Nathan Moore, MD

Medical students, Askin and Moore, originally authored a handbook to demystify the healthcare system for their peers. Self-published in 2012, the book, now in its second edition, has garnered praise from individuals beyond the medical community. Their jargon-free writing is approachable and a must-read for anybody who seeks to understand the gnarly landscape before they attempt to reshape it.



Catastrophic Care: How American Health Care Killed My Father -- and How We Can Fix It by David Goldhill

Goldhill's frustration with the healthcare status quo is personal -- his father died from infections contracted while being treated in a hospital. His prescription to fix it is all business -- he argues passionately for a market-driven system free of meddling from policymakers. The core assumptions that underpin the healthcare ecosystem are outlined and blasted in the pages of this book.



Reinventing American Healthcare: How the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Will Improve Our Terribly Complex, Blatantly Unjust, Outrageously Expensive, Grossly Inefficient, Error Prone System by Ezekiel J. Emanuel

The title leaves little mystery on the author's stance on the ACA. Emanuel's favorable view of the healthcare reform is no surprise: he was a special adviser to the White House on the matter. The book is an easy read about why the landmark policy that has caused havoc or harmony, depending on who you ask, came into being. (Fun side note: here is a scathing criticism of Emanuel's logic by Goldhill, the author of Catastrophic Health.)



America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Back-Room Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System by Steven Brill

Brill delivers drama, conflict and tension in this book about the implementation of Obamacare. Released this year, the book conveys Brill's concern that the ACA will not have the desired outcome because of the political and market dynamics at play.



Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer by Shannon Brownlee

Shannon Brownlee shares stories that underscore the bizarre economics of our healthcare system. She shows how perverse incentives encourage providers to overtreat a stratum of the population, making patients sicker because of it. At the same time, these measures put care out of reach for others who need it, she explains. Also, Brownlee offers her point of view on a resolution and advice to patients.



Doctors Tell All -- and It's Bad, an article by Meghan O'Rourke

If you believe that providers and physicians are key to reimagining healthcare for the better, then you must gain empathy for their stories, struggles and needs. To this end, peruse this article by Meghan O'Rourke for a list of recent good reads. Of course, her round-up includes Atul Gawande's popular and powerful Being Mortal.



Inspired EHRs: Designing for Clinicians by Jeff Belden, MD, et al.

This online resource is... was my secret weapon. The purpose of Inspired EHR is best articulated by its authors, mainly clinicians: "Our goal in writing this book is to inspire useful and usable Electronic Health Records." In it they outline clinical scenarios of use, along with problems with current systems, and most importantly, their recommendations on how to improve them.

The opinions expressed in this blog are of the authors and not of PokitDok's. The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice.

  Tags: Healthcare consumerism, Providers

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