The Smart Med Card

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's a Mutual Failure

Today, I will begin our blog bluntly (it's how we learn) - we're paranoid of lawsuits. Everywhere we go and everything we do we have to cover our hind-sides from someone looking to sue. Unfortunately, this mentality is creating a snow-ball effect in some of our critical industries - healthcare for starters.

We are low on doctors and because of the high-chances of a financial back-hand to the noggin during their job-duties, there is no stopping this shortage. Becoming a doctor is expensive, time-consuming and no longer contains the financial incentives that we believe a doctor to receive. But you know something? We contribute to the fault of a doctor's troubles and the fears of med-students. Perhaps we should consider suing ourselves, sometimes?

Here is what I am saying: If you don't track yourself well enough and then throughly and coherently present all information you can to a doctor during diagnosis - they will probably make mistakes. It's not entirely their fault, though; they don't live with us, track our medications or track complications; even if they only presented for a day or two and we chose to ignore them. Sure, doctors tend to run with a poor diagnosis because it looks like it's right or may even stereotype because of statistics with some medical complications, but, the bottom line is, we do our part to aid them in misdiagnosis. To give you a little something to chew on, here are a few numbers and facts from Reuters Health.
'Researchers found that about half of U.S. malpractice payments -- a proxy for medical errors -- from 2009 involved patients seen outside of the hospital.'[1]
More and more procedures that used to be kept solely to hospitals are now being performed in doctor's offices. The reasons for the malpractice suits are resultant from serious injury or death[1].
'In 2009, the last year of the study, there were 4,910 payments due to inpatient errors, 4,448 due to outpatient errors, and 966 involving both settings. Together, these payments were worth more than $3.3 billion.'[1]
If you think about it, over the years, that $3.3 billion (+/-) continually being spent in payments in which at least a substantial chunk could be mitigated is rather high. 4,448 outpatient errors (doctor's offices), a number that is basically the same as surgical error (inpatient) is astonishing. The lesson to learn - we need to communicate with our doctors. We need to take an active stance in our lives. Doctors can't do their part effectively unless we leave no door closed in patient-doctor communication. We all need to lite a little fire under our butts and hop to it!

So, next time you are with your doctor - consider starting your Personal Health Records with The Smart Med Card. Learn about yourself and create a personal profile that any doctor could use to make solid judgements in diagnoses and treatments. Your doctor would be more than happy to help you out, and in fact, most of them wish you would talk to them more, especially during the creation of a Personal Health Record. That is their job; to be there for you.

Learn more about The Smart Med Card and how you can take the initiative in starting your Personal Health Records today!

[1] http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43401235/ns/health/t/malpractice-claims-common-outside-hospital/

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