From a medical point of view, lack of closure takes place on an individual basis. It's not uncommon that patients, who have taken the time and effort to see their physician, do not follow through on their doctor's recommendations.
Closure is a very important concept.
How many times have you spent hours at meetings discussing how to address a certain issue, be it at the corporate level or planning a church social event?
Frequently, although there is agreement concerning how to implement the proposed plan, it may take weeks or months to accomplish it. A very common reason for not completing the task is lack of closure or follow-through by those who are responsible for implementing the plan.
Therefore, you can have the greatest meeting but it doesn't mean a thing if closure does not take place.
This thought came to mind after I read a recent medical report concerning the implementation of a newborn screening program to detect hearing loss.
All states in this country have established early hearing detection and intervention programs. The purpose is to detect newborns with a hearing loss and then set up an intervention or treatment plan to help them overcome their hearing deficits.
Sounds like -- and is -- a good plan.
In certain ways, it has been very successful. The latest statistics have shown that 97 percent of all newborns are now being screened for a hearing loss.
Great. Babies with a hearing loss are now identified. The next step of the program is the closure aspect, that is, to set up treatment programs for these babies.
Unfortunately, 46 percent of these babies with a hearing loss do not have any documentation that they ever received the recommend follow-up care. So, in spite of all the effort and money invested in this worthwhile program, 46 percent of the babies who need treatment, apparently, have not received it.
From a medical point of view, lack of closure also takes place on an individual basis.
It's not uncommon that patients, who have taken the time and effort to see their physician, do not follow through on their doctor's recommendations. One study has shown that a third of patients do not take the medications prescribed by their physicians. Many more do not lose weight, exercise or eat a proper diet as recommended by their primary care providers.
It's all about lack of closure, be it by the government, a corporation, a local committee or an individual.
Lack of closure is a concept that we hear very little about but it takes a terrible toll on the health, welfare and productivity of our society.
Dr. Murray Feingold is the physician in chief of the National Birth Defects Center, medical editor of WBZ-TV and WBZ radio, and president of the Genesis Fund. The Genesis Fund is a nonprofit organization that funds the care of children born with birth defects, mental retardation and genetic diseases.