NOTE TO READERS: When this project lost substantial funding at the end of 2018, I lost the ability to continue publishing criteria-driven news story reviews and PR news release reviews - once the bread-and-butter of the site going back to 2006. The 3,200 archived reviews, while still educational, are getting old and difficult for me to technically maintain on the back end of the website. So I am announcing that I plan to remove these reviews from the site by April 1, 2021. The blog and the toolkit - two of the most popular features on the site - will remain. If you wish to peruse the reviews before they disappear, please do so by the end of March 2021. After that date you may still be able to access them via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine - https://archive.org/web/.

Patient POV on waste, quality of care, imaging issues

Journalist Laura Newman, on her Patient POV blog, posts, “MR Imaging, Electronic Test Ordering Creates Waste.”

She writes:

Waste is what you get with rampant, uncritical use of MRI and health information technology, according to two papers out this week.  The authors of a companion editorial to one of the papers even go so far as to suggest we should make waste a quality of care measure. I applaud them.

She notes that authors of one of the papers acknowledge “that imaging is a fundamental part of acute stroke evaluation and that it is more accurate than computed tomography (CT) for stroke diagnosis. However, they also point out that no data has shown that stroke patients undergoing MRI do any better than those who do not.”

In the other paper she writes about, the authors “challenge the contemporary mantra that health information technology will cure so many ills in our healthcare system. Here, they demonstrate how the ease of access to electronic test results led to a 40% to 70% jump in ordering imaging studies. when doctors had access to computerized imaging. They argue electronic access to test results alone may offer enticements to additional ordering.”

Newman’s conclusion:

Together, these papers shine a light on how easy it is to order imaging tests and how imaging is the gee-whiz technology of our age. If we really ever get serious about waste and want to work on it equitably, we will have to invite patients to the table from the outset.

Bring the public in early and often in medical technology assessment discussions.

Don’t say you are committed to “patient-centered care” if you don’t bring patients to the table. Warning: If you leave patients out, the public sees it as  smacking of benefits denied, arbitrariness, and cheapness.

But the other thing is that until we stop rewarding doctors based on volume, and instead, inspire outcomes, we are going to drown in the morass of waste.

You might also like

Comments

Please note, comments are no longer published through this website. All previously made comments are still archived and available for viewing through select posts.

Comments are closed.