Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Compounding and Confounding Medical Errors

May 23, 2016
Just 5% of Terminally Ill Cancer Patients Understand Prognosis

Patients were asked what stage cancer they had, their current health status, how long they expected to live and if they had recently had a life-expectancy discussion with their doctor. Just 5 percent of the patients accurately answered all four questions about their disease and prognosis correctly.

5% sounds very optimistic. We're not done factoring in the rest of the errors yet. How about those doctors?

July 7, 2014
Do doctors understand test results?

Gigerenzer's research shows just how confused doctors often are about survival and mortality rates. In a survey of 412 doctors in the US he found three-quarters mistakenly believed that higher survival rates meant more lives were saved. He also found more doctors would recommend a test to a patient on the basis of a higher survival rate, than they would on the basis of a lower mortality rate.

Not done yet. Need to factor in defensive medicine.

One trend, evident in some health systems more than others, is for doctors to practise medicine "defensively", recommending treatments that are least likely to leave them open to being sued.

Not done yet. Need to factor in the lawyers.

February 2, 2013
Guilty as charged

According to a study in 2006, America has more lawyers per person of its population than any of 29 countries studied (except Greece), and it spends two to three times as much on its tort system, as a percentage of GDP, as other big economies (except Italy, where things are nearly as bad).

Not done yet. Need to factor in the Corporate America propaganda machine.

P.S. I'll probably get sued for saying this sarcastically, but it makes me feel real good, as an American, to share the lawyerin' top honors with Greece and Italy. Gives me great confidence in our long-term financial future, lol. Sigh.


mab said...

Doctors? Medieval Barbers!

Stagflationary Mark said...

First the doctor told me the good news: I was going to have a disease named after me. - Steve Martin