Public Policy

Tips from the Top

Bob Wachter, MD professor and associate chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco Resources Dr. Wachter recommends or checks regularly include:

  1. Wachter’s World blog: Dr. Wachter suggests reading his new blog, now available at, to keep up with relevant issues in the industry and opinions you’re not likely to find anywhere else.
  2. AHRQ Patient Safety Network (which he edits), at “This is a weekly round up of key articles, Web sites, and tools in patient safety. It’s also the world’s most extensive, searchable patient safety library. It’s an essential tool for those trying to keep up on safety, quality, and IT.”
  3. Modern Healthcare’s Daily Dose: An electronic newsletter delivered daily. Subscriptions are available for $49/year at “An excellent news aggregator that keeps you up to date on the key policy issues affecting hospital care.”
  4. California Healthline: A free daily e-newsletter, available at “Particularly for Californians, this newsletter includes news and policy changes, as well as some interesting blogs and links to California Healthcare Found­ation reports, which are usually very well done and helpful.”
  5. ihealthbeat: The California Healthcare Foundation’s free daily healthcare IT e-newsletter is available at www.ihealth­
  6. HITS: Modern Healthcare’s daily healthcare IT enewsletter is available free at www.modern­ These resources obviously focus on information technology news. “I’m not an informationist, but anyone interested in hospital care, quality, and safety needs to keep a finger on the pulse of the IT movement.”

Mary Jo Gorman, MD, MBA, chief executive officer, Advanced ICU Care, St. Louis, Mo., and former SHM president

“My recommendations are all books,” says Dr. Gorman. “I consider them timeless in their application to leadership growth.” Her reading list includes:

  1. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. “Anyone who has to work with others—all of us, I think—can pick up some gems here.”
  2. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard. “A growing field like hospital medicine calls for constantly changing strategy and being open to new things. Whining that things have changed is not a strategy. This book can be an eye-opener in the midst of upheaval.”
  3. Books by Deborah Tannen. “She is a linguist, and some of her books are more focused on work or family. Two examples are Talking from 9 to 5: Women and Men at Work and That’s Not What I Meant! All of us are conversing with other those of other genders; these books give good insight into what others might mean and how to overcome misunderstandings.” TH

Jane Jerrard also writes “Public Policy” for The Hospitalist.

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