“....variation, or two ways of treating the same clinical presentation, is what plagues healthcare”
Jul 23, 2014 | 1103 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A recent article in Beckers Hospital Review http://www.beckershospitalreview.com* focused on clinical care variation -

“Back when he was a resident, (he) saw two physicians perform separate colonoscopies, in which they discovered polyps in their respective patients. Each, however, went about removing the polyp in a different way — one via endoscopic surgery, another through open surgery. Despite having the resources and expertise to perform the procedure endoscopically, the physician who decided on surgery said his reason was a simple one: "That's how I like to do it."

“The surgical method obviously involves more pain and scarring for patients, along with a higher rate of infection. The likely reason patients agree to undergo surgery when they could have a polyp removed endoscopically is they simply do not know better.”

“Healthcare variation isn't a new problem. It's what ultimately led to the death of President James Garfield in 1881, after all. After he was shot, the bullet rested in his back but caused no damage to his organs. Two groups of physicians cared for the president — one that wanted to remove the bullet and another that wanted to keep the bullet intact based on their experiences with Civil War soldiers.

Ultimately, the former group prevailed. These physicians were dubious about infection control at that time, so eight of them inserted their unsterilized hands in President Garfield's wound to remove the bullet. They missed the bullet's pathway and ultimately caused the president to contract septicemia, which killed him.”

To read the full Becker Hospital Review article “The One Thing No Hospital Can Ignore” by Molly Gamble, highlight and click on open hyperlink


Note: This blog shares general information about understanding and navigating the health care system. For specific medical advice about your own problems, issues and options talk to your personal physician.

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