Medical Tuesday Blog
Just Give Me Some Good Cough Syrup So I Can Sleep
In section 2 above concerning the solution to medical errors, the article indicates the following:
Part of the solution [to medical errors] is automation—using computers to sift through medical records to look for potential bad calls, or to prompt doctors to follow up on red-flag test results. Another component is devices and tests that help doctors identify diseases and conditions more accurately, and online services that give doctors suggestions when they aren’t sure what they’re dealing with.
In another study it was determined that four out of five errors in making a diagnosis were the result of breakdown in the doctor-patient encounter. The leading causes were problems in history taking and lack of a complete physical examination.
It was the latter that was lacking in section 5 above. A focused medical history and a focused medical examination produced a more accurate diagnosis in one office call at a potential savings of $10,000 to $15,000. It appears the emphasis in physician training has been towards technology. If technology is not firmly based on a foundation of accurate medical history and physical findings, it may be pointed in the wrong direction and of little value despite the exorbitant cost.
Cough is one of the two most common causes for a doctor’s visit. However, in our experience it is generally treated with a cough syrup rather than towards the cause. Bronchospasm requires a bronchodilator, not a cough suppressant.
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