The tagline of this website is to take back healthcare from the idiots who are now in charge. In other words, we as doctors gave control away years ago, everyone is paying for that mistake and we need to get it back or things will just worsen. As more and more hospitals buy doctors and make them their employees, the situation just worsens. For example, the American Medical News posted this article which leads with this sentence:
As hospital and health systems examine how to improve the patient experience, one prominent constituency increasingly is not being considered to lead the effort: physicians.
Can you imagine? The people who actually treat the patients are not even involved in how to improve their experience. Don’t get me wrong, I still think the whole concept is warped. As the article states, “The patient experience, a set of protocols designed to increase patient satisfaction and outcomes, continues to gain more traction as payment is increasingly tied to quality.” Once again, patient satisfaction surveys are unproven and so is quality but if you have been reading this blog you would know my feelings on that. The article goes on to show the trend of removing doctors from these decisions. In this scenario, one study referenced showed that some executives believe physicians just aren’t on board with patient experience efforts. C’mon. Maybe they are not on board the way the administrator thinks it should be done? Or maybe they realized that the administrator is going to do what she wanted to do all along and was only asking the doctors’ opinions to make it look good? This is a common and proven technique, by the way. After a while, doctors know their opinions mean nothing and just give up. So what do the administrators do? They remove doctors from the equation. I like what Reid B. Blackwelder, MD, a family physician in Kingsport, Tenn., and president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians said:
“Patients shouldn’t have an experience,” he said. “They have problems that need to be solved. This is not like Disney World. This is about safety and outcomes. The phrase is too slick and avoids what it’s about, which is we take care of [patients] and minimize the risks.”
In summary, expect hospitals to leave docs out of more and more initiatives and substitute them by creating more and more administrative positions. Once again, check out the image above if you think I am wrong.