I would imagine if some surgeon started advertising, "Come to me for your bypass, St Simpoleton's across town kills 1 out of three patients, while we rarely lose anybody" pretty soon the medical society would find a way to get his license pulled.
I understand your point there, Ha. I believe the way to approach this 'advertizing' would be not to tear someone else's record down, but rather take the* novel approach of saying what it is that you offer that is different from the others, such as:
"Our staff is qualified in this manner or that, we offer gourmet hospital meals for the patient as well as in our cafeteria, so you don't feel you are in a hospital* (don't laugh, the hospitals here in Thailand have hired famous chefs!*
) we have a workout room so while you are waiting you can work off your stress (the wording needs some work here!* 8)* ). We offer WiFi, counseling services for the bereaved, courses on medicine intreractions, how to read your bill when we send it to you, we will explain the medical codes used...* * *
* *offer wellness programs (does your current doctor/hospital do so?)
Or offer to have a doctor explain to you why he/she should be your doctor. He/She should be applying for your services, not us begging to be let in. Even the idea of having soothing music or a fountain in waiting rooms seems out-of-the-box in some US care facilities...* *
* *You don't need fabulous art, but a real plant or several would be nice.* *
My whole point is that we as the consumer feel 'so lucky even to have gotten in to see the doctor' that we have lost perspective. In all honesty, I am not joking here.
I recently visited a chronic pain facility in a prestigious city in California. The place was barren, cold, disorganized. Not a plant to be seen, or poster on the wall, no music of any kind and the staff looked like they were the ones in chronic pain. The doctor had to shout for the patient's medical records and list of medications, which the staff took another 10 minutes to find...* I was horrified.*
This place did not instill confidence in me, let alone the friend I accompanied who needed their service. She was due for major back surgery, and I felt very uncomfortable leaving her in their 'care.'
This city is wealthy, but the place looked like a slum - gray walls, dingy, dreary. How can one believe they can get out of chronic pain when even going to this place was pain-full?
I think it's because 50% of the doctors in America graduated in the lower half of their medical school.* Notice that their diplomas never include GPAs or class standing?
Right..... therefore the 'proof should be in the pudding.'* Our approach should be "why would I come to you for advice? What can you offer me?" We don't just let anyone fix our car, or watch our children, or do our taxes... In the medical field I believe it's all backwards. They have us begging, yet we are the ones who are paying. It doesn't make any sense to me.
But seriously, a surgeon's book "Complications" is a real eye-opener.* There aren't any medical police who'll swoop in and suspend a surgeon before they make yet another fatal mistake.* Hospital review boards are very slow to act (liability concerns) and will only grudgingly get moving for the most egregious mistakes (or malpractice verdicts).
(I should read that book!) Here we are again with the doctors, hospitals and review boards -- not concerned about the patient's wellbeing, but rather how much they could be sued for. It's a money
issue, not a health
I wonder how secure these wonderful networks are?* I imagine that story on CNN would shortly be followed by another story on how hackers are searching medical databases to send spam to Viagra recipients...
Everything in life has a trade off. Not having the computer connected from the reception office to the doctor you are seeing in the hospital or clinic is old technology. Pure and simple.*
These files in the offices get lost and misplaced all the time. When you go from one doctor to another (say a specialist) you have the week's waiting period or more for the first one to send your records by courier or mail to the second one, plus the expense of the first one to copy your records so they don't get lost... All this adds to the administrative cost, taking your time as well, and increases insurance costs.
Why not keep your own copies of your medical records?*
I'm not afraid of the idea of hackers sending spam to Viagra recipients, but I am afraid of increasing health insurance costs, without us consumers doing anything about it...
We need dialogue and willingness to consider creative solutions in the States.
Author, The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement