I want to share two articles from yesterday's New York Times and Wall Street Journal. The first piece from the NY Times talks about FDA's new policy proposal to limit the use of antibiotics in animal feed. There is an apparently an on-going battle between public health and agriculture over the use of antibiotics in animal feed. The prevalent use of antibiotics such as penicillin and tetracycline in water and feed increases the emergence of resistant bacteria, which many believe to be an important public health issue. FDA's new policy calls for limited use of antibiotics. Whether or not the policy can be passed into law remains to be seen.
The second article from the Wall Street Journal describes quantitative measures implemented by many businesses, including hospitals, to evalute performance of employees. The article uses Long Island Jewish Medical Center as an example. Instead of evaluating nurses on qualitative metrics like "leadership" or "respectfulness," the hospital adopted a computer-based performance system that evaluates nurses against quantifiable goals such as keeping infection rates low and patient-satisfaction scores high. One of the key drivers behind the change is that insurers will begin paying hospitals for care based in part on patient satisfaction, which will be collected by surveys after patients are discharged. So hospitals are aligning performance measures to financial incentive.