Imagine a world in which the delivery of health care is of the highest quality and so efficient that it is affordable to every person—and government. Today, that world seems distant, but not because of lack of progress in the diagnosis and treatment of illness and disease. Science and technology are enabling new cures and techniques at a rate never experienced before. The world we seek is beyond our reach because the work of delivering health care has not kept pace with advances in science and technology.

When you consider that most of us spend half of our waking lives performing something called “work,” you’d think we would be really good at it, right?

Well, half right. And the missing half explains why so much of even our most ...

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