Wednesday, March 14, 2007

An idea for physician accountability.

When you go to a car dealership and get a car your contract is usually pretty cut and dry. When you sign you can see all the fees and terms of your purchase. Now go to a hospital for a surgery and what you sign doesn't agree to any set fee. Granted the human body is subject to many extenuating possibilities than a car, you should still have everything laid out for you.

A doctor needs to own what is done. He or she needs to be accountable easily for what they do during a surgery and explain and be held accountable for it in a way that indemnifies the patient against crooked physicians or just blatant CYA services so that a physician can feel better about the chances of malpractice lawsuits happening.

The real issue is that physicians still do not put patients in the charge of their care. The legalities of it still entitle the patient to full control over their healthcare. The problem is that many doctors lose sight of what will best serve the patient and not what will best serve their liabilities. Many physicians' modus operandi is to manage risk with patient care an afterthought to this one priority. Patients need to manage the risk. It must be up to "us" to challenge things and have a clear understanding of the roadmap of treatment being prescribed to us. Many people do not question what a physician does early on in treatment because the physician paints this picture of a situation beyond the scope of their understanding. Partly true, you can still dig in and find the basics. Simplistically "If I go get this scan, what does it mean with either possible outcome? What test will come after that and what will those outcomes mean?". A physician typically operates off of a flowchart, we need to get that flowchart.

We must have the means to dispute whichever portion we wish.

Granted I understand there are plenty of cases where a patient is incapacitated and needs certain treatment in order to avert death. This is unavoidable and the nature of the business. However, what I'm getting at is physicians ordering frivolous tests or performing things that aren't required. I'd also like to take a stab at the inconsistency of physicians. They "just decide" stuff for no reason sometimes.

Well here's to you doctors living in your self created super star realities. We the people are coming after your lack of business ethics.


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