I love being a Doctor. I love being an Anesthesiologist and I love taking care of patients. I am aware of the costs. The current debate continues to emphasize cost and I understand the preoccupation. However, I’d like for us all to look more deeply into the system. Don’t be distracted by the money debate. The question is and should always be; is my patient getting the best care? The corollary to that question is; am I providing the best value to this patient.
The care provided should always be evidenced based to the best of our knowledge and cost has to be factored into the discussion. If there is no medical need for a test or procedure it should not be done. As Physicians we need to stand up and do our part. We need to do only what is medically necessary and not what will cover our butts. At the same time there must be protection from litigation so physicians feel free to practice.
With freedom comes responsibilities and we must hold each other to high standards. We must be prepared to help our fellow Physicians provide appropriate and timely care.
Health care is a team sport and we must all play nicely together. These are my proposals to improve our system.
1. all hospital employees should have 30 minutes of protected nap time
2. patients should be guaranteed a single bill for all services provided
3. all care should be directed through a single coordinator.
These suggestion are a starting point.