Friday, February 21, 2014

Should docs box-check or heal?

Victoria McEvoy, MD, assistant prof of pediatrics at Harvard, wrote in the WSJ, Feb 13, 2014, that her time it taken up with checklists and metrics created by people who aren't doctors.  These are aimed at spending money wisely, not time.

Pre-op checklists, length of stay goals, handwashing requirements--all improve health care. But they are  not substitutes for excellence.

She said primary care docs are deluged with checkboxes--is the child fat, then a doublecheck on that, counseling needs to be checked and done, if the kid has asthma, another box. Flu shot compliance. An inhaler...it goes on and on.

Doctors are also now asked to find out if there is a gun in the house, domestic violence, childproofing, proper nutrition, exercise, school performance, safe sex, bullying, smoking, drinking, drugs, proper sleep...on and on.

One doctor goal is to make sure kids get a well-child visit at age 3--why isn't that the parents' responsibility, not the doctor's?

Doctors do get paid more to do this--rewarded, that is. Which may be why doctors ask how you are. I know, that is cynical.

No comments: