VITALS Speaker: Frugal Innovation Can Work in Any Resource-limited Community

The U.S. spends more on health care than any other developed country. That doesn’t always translate to better health outcomes.

“Increased cost does not necessarily equal increased value,” noted December’s VITALS speaker Bernhard Fassl, M.D., director of global health innovation at NEOMED. “People will say we’ve got the best individual parts, we’ve got to have the best system… But system performance is not a sum of the quality of individual parts. System performance is based on how the parts interact with one another.”

Dr. Fassl discussed the need for more systems-level thinking among physicians and immersive medical education for students to help them understand the non-medical circumstances that impact health outcomes, such as social determinants of health.

“There’s a discrepancy between what people are tested on and what they need to know,” Dr. Fassl said.  “Systems thinking isn’t going to get you a good test score, but you will be a better doctor.”

Wrapping up the question-and-answer portion of the VITALS program, moderator Monica Robins, senior health correspondent for WKYC-TV, asked Dr. Fassl to share some final thoughts.

“If I could change one thing,” he shared, “it would be to replace judgment with understanding.”

Watch VITALS with Bernhard Fassl

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