Wait, that's not it. He wants information to drive medical decisions, not ignorance, gut feeling, and tradition:
Remarkably, a doctor today can get more data on the starting third baseman on his fantasy baseball team than on the effectiveness of life-and-death medical procedures. Studies have shown that most health care is not based on clinical studies of what works best and what does not — be it a test, treatment, drug or technology. Instead, most care is based on informed opinion, personal observation or tradition . . .OK, now that I've gotten the low hanging joke fruit out of my system, I'm going to admit to my general ignorance of the health care system and register my shock and horror that the medical decisions that affect my life and health were reached by roughly the same deliberative process that landed Pat Mears a four year contract extension immediately following a season in which he put up an OPS+ of 87.
Data-driven baseball has produced surprising results. Michael Lewis writes in “Moneyball” that the Oakland A’s have won games and division titles at one-sixth the cost of the most profligate teams. This season, the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and New York Mets — the three teams with the highest payrolls, a combined $486 million — are watching the playoffs on television, while the Tampa Bay Rays, a franchise that uses a data-driven approach and has the second-lowest payroll in baseball at $44 million, are in the World Series (a sad reality for one of us) . . .
. . . Similarly, a health care system that is driven by robust comparative clinical evidence will save lives and money. One success story is Cochrane Collaboration, a nonprofit group that evaluates medical research. Cochrane performs systematic, evidence-based reviews of medical literature. In 1992, a Cochrane review found that many women at risk of premature delivery were not getting corticosteroids, which improve the lung function of premature babies.
One thing Beane doesn't mention here, however, is that it seems there is a major amount of cognitive dissonance going on when it comes to medical information. On the one hand, everyone agrees with Beane that the documentation and dissemination of medical information is critical. On the other hand, we have an increasingly irrational desire in this country to protect every bit of information that can be even remotely deemed personal, be it medical data, social security numbers, or our mothers' maiden names. Don't get me wrong: privacy is important -- I don't want everyone to know about that course of antibiotics I had to take in college -- but at some point we have to be less paranoid about this sort of stuff.
(thanks to reader Jeffrey Bijas for the heads up on the link)