whitecoats blog), it seems JCAHO is proposing a national patient safety goal around overuse of procedures, tests and treatments. Will wonders never cease? Here's the link.
National patient safety goals are things like patient indentification, preventing medical errors, preventing mistakes in surgery. Hospitals have to comply with JCAHO regulations or risk losing accredidation and with it money.
That's why months of preparation go into JCAHO visits to prep the staff to parrot what the surveyors want to hear.
Personally, I think this is great. Hospitals and doctors refuse to stop ordering all these ridiculous, unnecessary tests on people, so apparently the government has to step in and do it. And guess what they don't give a rats ass about all the unfounded fears about liability.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are a real concern for doctors, nobody doubts that but the concern are blown way out of proportion. It is used as an excuse to order all of these tests which bumps up the level of care and puts more money into the hospital and doctors pockets.
What is so fascinating are some of the examples they give which are major areas of profit for hospitals:
1) the myriad of CT abdomens that are unnecessary and could probably be replaced by an ultrasound.
2) Doing angioplasties and stents on people with less than 40% blockage. (How about doing CT angios on every Tom, Dick and Harry that walks in with chest pain?)
3) Inducing labor in women who are less than 39 weeks.
Oh, I just can't wait to see how this all turns out. At the very least, it should start a necessary discussion around overtreatment. That's an accomplishment in and of itself.
*hi nurse k