I just spoke with a physician colleague who stated that at his hospital everything is metric driven.
Time you saw the patient.
When you called a consultant.
How many days, hours, minutes, and seconds the patient was in the hospital to discharge.
And so on.
He said it creates tremendous pressure and anxiety, makes him cut corners with patient care, and feels like he doesn't spend any time with patients.
Which leads to his biggest fear: the possibility of a lawsuit because he thinks he's going to miss something.
And he's sick of it.
I can feel his pain.
I used to be part of an emergency medicine group where every month we'd have meetings discussing each doctor's average number of patients seen per hour and per shift, average wait times per doctor, average time to disposition the patient, and much more.
It kind of reminds me of a TV show I saw recently which showed what happens behind the scenes at companies like Fedex, Walmart, and Costco.
Everything is tracked, coded, and stamped to get the package to its destination.
And if it doesn't, there are consequences.
But there are key difference between those companies and what we do as physicians.
One is that Walmart is tracking inanimate objects with no emotions and no feelings. So it makes sense for Walmart to create systems for efficiency.
In medicine the systems are created by bureaucrats who are not physicians, and they are tracking people.
The second difference is that the company who creates the rules reaps the profits.
But in medicine a non-physician -- someone who does not have direct contact with patients -- creates the rules and the blame is placed on the doctors who are in the trenches making the critical life and death decisions. And the non-MDs have their hands in our pockets.
Does this make any sense?
I don't think so.
As medicine moves toward tracking every little move that every doctor in the country makes, it's more critical than ever to shore up your personal finances.
I don't know about you, but I like to have some personal freedom in my life.
One way to do that is to get your finances and investments in order.
When you do that, your anxiety level goes down, and you take the pressure off yourself to see so many patients.
If that's one of your goals, I would enjoy speaking with you.
We'll discuss what challenges you're facing and whether I can help you.
Talk again soon.