Technically curious

Your doctor may not be making the scientific decision

doctor help comic

“When patients get evidence-based care, they have 28 percent better outcomes. That’s a big deal,” said study co-author Lynn Gallagher-Ford.

Source: Evidence-based health care: The care you want, but might not be getting: New study reveals one reason many hospitals struggle with quality, safety and costs

doctor help comicI took it for granted that doctors made decisions based on evidence. Why else would they study and be required to study? I apparently was wrong. I have asked many doctors that have taken care of me if they are evidence-based and they all say yes. I wonder why being in a hospital is so different. If I didn’t know better I might suspect hospitals are hiding the bad doctors so that they don’t have to take responsibility for their actions.

I had dinner with a doctor once and we discussed Obamacare and how his work is judged. He said that he is a top-billed doctor for his department, but he couldn’t quantify the costs of his work. Patients who have to return or wasted procedures aren’t tracked at their hospital. I asked him how much the hospital earned from him once the costs were subtracted. Many businesses know this exact amount like retail. For example, Apple retail employees are worth $500,000 to Apple based on their sales. It surprised me that a hospital doesn’t track this. Or perhaps he just doesn’t care as long as he gets a paycheck.

So I wonder if doctors say they are evidence-based but are really not? Maybe they want to sound like they are scientific. Thinking back about the doctors I have known, many of them may have understood science but they were terrible at practicing it. For example, one doctor I had never used gloves when he worked with me. Another one never washed his hands. These were intelligent, clean people but it is always nice that doctors have safeguards and observe universal precautions it is called. To me, if someone doesn’t change their behavior based on their knowledge, the knowledge was wasted on them.

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