Now imagine that piece of paper comes with a promise of having to pay more for your own good and where time spent acquiring that paper meant nothing. Most rational people would have visions of Bernie Madoff or some other Ponzi scheme.
I woke this morning in a cold sweat as I found myself wrestling with a thought.
Am I Big Brother?
The explosion of social media in our society, and at medical meetings in particular, is changing how our society, and medical professionals in particular, work and interact. There is potential for tremendous good: social media to market, to promote, to communicate rapidly, to effect change.
As I watch the business world’s fascination with the electronic medical record (EMR) and all of the Big Data that it accumulates, I see more and more processes codified and treatment pathways carefully honed. Only one small thing remains until the computer can tell doctors how to behave based on the developed algorithms: to turn free text in the patient chart into easily-definable binary pushbutton selections, so now, this is being done.
The phone rang one evening and a pleasant voice was on the other end. “Hi, my name is nurse So-and-so and I’m the educational coordinator for your upcoming knee surgery. Do you want to go to the patient orientation session?” she asked. “It’s very helpful to go over things before and after your surgery and to answer any questions you might have.”
I thought about this. The 11am session was right smack dab in the middle of my clinical day. But I thought it best to attend and agreed.
Another day, another pacemaker, at least so it seemed at first.
Do you want to “raise awareness” of how physician quality and value information impacts health care decision making? Do you want to spin your data via the Associated Press internationally?
Just have the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation pay for a survey!
We all know how great surveys are, especially when you design it to “raise awareness” for the low, low price of $604,454!
He had called the other day to update me up on his condition. He did not sound upset, but resolute. “They offered me peritoneal dialysis,” he said, “but I decided against it and figured I’d just let nature take its course. The hospice people are so wonderful – I’ve got things all set here at home, but I have two questions. What should I do about my warfarin? You know, I just don’t want to have a stroke. And what I do about my defibrillator?”