WHERE DOES THE EVIDENCE LEAD?
JUST FOLLOW THE MONEY!
The proverbial Quest for Truth. When it comes to the practice of medicine, where do we find the evidence, and what do we do with it once it's been discovered. Great questions, but probably more elusive than we would like to imagine. This is because all too often, the "evidence" is found wherever the money is found. Although there are those who are enthralled with Evidence Based Medicine (pencil pushers, government bureaucrats, etc), money is the overriding reason that we cannot trust what has come to be known as "Evidence-based Medicine" (an obvious problem in ENGLAND as well as the U.S.). But there are other reasons Evidence-Based Medicine is bad --- reasons that affect everyone who goes to the doctor.
Now we find out that EHR's (Electronic Health Records) are such a complicated pain-in-the-you-know-what, that using them takes up 43% of the doctor visit in the Emergency Room (only 28% of the "patient contact" is spent actually interacting with the patient). In fact, a recent study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine said that during an average 10 hour shift, Emergency Room Physicians will click their mouse just under 4,000 times. Gulp! This means that the average doctor visit involves your doctor spending much more time staring at their computer screen, hoping to reach tricky government-mandated goals for record keeping, than the time they spend with you. And it's about to get worse ---- much worse.
With the government going broke (it's not like this is a secret), and deep cuts being made by insurance companies, doctor's offices, clinics, and hospitals everywhere ---- as well as the implementation of the brand new ICD-10 Codes which are replacing the ICD-9 Codes (HERE) ---- things are getting ready to bog down worse than a Corvette at a mud-run. Remember this the next time you spend three hours waiting for a doctor visit that lasts all of 5 minutes (with the doctor spending half that time on their computer).