"America's Best Hospitals" [July 21-28] was of great interest to me.
I especially enjoyed reading the article about the five days your reporters spent at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Having been trained as an RN, although I left to take care of my children, I felt as if I were right there in the room, on the floor, on the ward. The other related articles and pictures were just as interesting and informative as to how things are done now. Thank you for taking me back to my rather primitive days compared with today's hospitals.
You did a fine job highlighting innovations at Vanderbilt, but I was disappointed there was no mention of the contribution to patient care made by the clinical laboratory. Many clinical decisions are based on laboratory results. While the laboratory is behind the scenes, its highly educated and dedicated professionals use state-of-the-art technology to ensure that accurate and timely laboratory results are provided to physicians, allowing them to make the best possible decisions for their patients.
Rebecca K. Aman
Tea, South Dakota
It is great to recognize the leading hospitals that offer the latest medical technologies and advances in treating diseases, but if we are to reduce healthcare costs and have an impact on the health and wellness of the American people, we must focus on addressing the causes and prevention of disease. There are many hospitals (unfortunately, not enough) that are leaders in their communities in providing excellent wellness and preventive medicine education and services. These medical institutions should be recognized for the fine work they are doing to make Americans healthier and avoid the diseases that are killing us. The field of lifestyle medicine is a slowly emerging medical specialty that needs to be recognized.
John Westerdahl, Ph.D.
Bragg Health Foundation
Santa Barbara, California