Benjamin Franklin: Verification and Validation of the Scientific Process in Healthcare As Demonstrated by the Report of the Royal Commission of Animal Magnetism
This book examines various contributions of Benjamin Franklin to health care and medicine. Over two centuries ago, he used the scientific method to evaluate health care processes and outcomes. For example, in 1784 the King of France, Louis XVI, commissioned Benjamin Franklin and several other prominent scientists to evaluate the therapeutic techniques of Franz Anton Mesmer. Their conclusions, the complete Report of the Royal Commission on Animal Magnetism and Mesmerism, is reproduced here, along with several other views of the proceedings.
Another analysis of health care that Benjamin Franklin undertook was related to smallpox. He studied the outcomes of smallpox inoculation, and compared them to not being inoculated, and even examined outcomes based on race. This may be the first study of racial disparity in health care in the USA.
This book provides a unique blend of medical history and scientific methods to evaluate processes in health care. Health care quality improvement requires analysis and refinement of processes, in order to increase quality or improve patient safety. The methods are as valid and reliable today, as they were in the 1700's.