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Health Care: Some Analogies, Lessons, and Ideas from Energy

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In this 2007 address to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Amory Lovins suggests connections between the lessons of whole-systems thinking, energy efficiency, and healthcare. Lovins applies ideas such as end-use/least-cost to health care. He argues that problems in healthcare systems, like problems in energy systems, are caused by failure to apply knowledge, not by a lack of knowledge. Lovins argues that the current healthcare system is flawed and misdirected, in part because it measures means and not ends. Instead of the conventional approach to healthcare, Lovins suggests an integrated approach to medicine. He also draws on RMI’s work with the built environment to explain improved environmental health options in health facilities using integrated design techniques.