I was asked recently if there was a simple way to keep track of how our health care system measures up. My “simple” answer was, “Yes, count the number of people in emergency rooms, homeless shelters and jail cells.”

I was, in fact, answering a different question focused on “population health” rather than the success or failure of the health care system itself. Although they should be aligned, they encompass different objectives in practice.

The vital question we must answer is, are we measuring the success of the health care system and infrastructure, or measuring the well-being of the population they serve?  Continue reading...