In this episode of the Middle Chamber Books and Music Podcast, we speak with Dr. John R. Patrick, author of a new book, Health Attitude: Unraveling and Solving the Complexities of Healthcare. We also remember Canadian Ambassador Kenneth D. Taylor, who died October 15, with Mark Lijek, one of the six American diplomats hidden by Ambassador Taylor during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979.
After John R. Patrick’s career at IBM, he took a seat on the board of a teaching hospital. He was surprised to learn how hospitals and physicians lagged at adopting information technology, and appalled at the needless complexity of healthcare delivery processes. Instead of shaking his head and walking away, Patrick took action.
The result is a revealing look at the cultural, attitudinal, and technological barriers holding back the United States from achieving a more affordable, accessible, and effective healthcare system. Patrick sees the inability to share personal healthcare information between hospitals, specialists, and primary care doctors as a major problem. He believes increasing collaboration for more effective healthcare is not a technical problem, it is attitudinal. The reliance of the uninsured on expensive emergency care instead of preventive care is not limited by healthcare capabilities, but by the attitude of healthcare policymakers and politicians.
Patrick argues we need new attitudes about healthcare to achieve true reform. His vision includes a system focused on patients and uses an accountability oriented, fee for value model. Patrick promotes an attitude that provides incentives for wellness, not sickness.
Passing of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor
Ambassador Taylor, who died in New York October 15 at the age of 81, played a pivotal role in the rescue of six American diplomats who escaped from the US Embassy in Teheran, Iran, when it was overrun by revolutionaries in 1979.
Turned away by other Western embassies who feared being overrun as well, the Americans turned to the Canadians, who took them in and hid them from the Revolutionary Guards for six months. Then, the Canadians cooperated with the Central Intelligence Agency in an exfiltration plan to bring the Americans out of Iran by having them pose as Canadian documentary filmmakers.
The story became the basis for the Ben Affleck movie, “Argo,” and in 2012 we spoke with Mark Lijek, a US Foreign Service Officer who was hidden by the Canadians with his wife Cora. Mark wrote his own account of their rescue, which he described in detail in our earlier podcast interview.
He returns to the Middle Chamber Books Podcast in this episode to remember Ambassador Taylor.