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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Corporate Efficiency or Losing the Plot?!?!?!

The past week has been a revelation in terms of corporatization and efficient productivity. We've been on a roll in terms of planning plans, implementation of plans, installing various means of easing our lives (or is it complicating our lives), sending professional sms's, getting investigations organised etc etc.

So, everything is getting computerised, which is a good thing in terms of the amount of trees we may save in the end by sparing paper. The system is that we are trying to get all the pre-op reports delivered to us by email. What this amounts to is that the patient has to come meet us once, his/her first visit, decide what surgery he/she wants to do, talk about the payment and leave. Then, we send someone home to collect blood, send the contact details of the patient to the investigations lab, and vice-versa so they can go and get their X-rays, USG's, etc done there if needed. Everything comes back to us by email, we go ahead and schedule surgery, the patient gets admitted, operated the next day, discharged the next and the story repeats.

Now, in all these major events in the patient's time with us, the doctor is seeing the patient a grand total of once before surgery, once during surgery (maybe if we reach before anaesthesia induction) and once when we tell the patient all if fine and its time to go.

Where is the doctor - patient relationship in this? What happened to talk to your doc and let him know your feelings? What happened to half the healing that happens only on talking to your doctor? Where is the 'connect' that is sooo important that we have ethics committee's telling us spend time listening to the patient?

I think we're losing this very important quality that makes patients want to come to doctors instead of us having to go to them. In the corporate world, time is money, so this system would work, as it leads to the best possible use of time and resources. No doubt about it. However, in the medical world, time is not as much money as a patient is livelihood! If you don't have patients coming to you and 'Bonding' (to use a word my wife has made me understand, thankfully) it's just not going to work.

Let's see how this goes. Any inputs are welcome.


VM said...

Well I believe that each one should stick to what best suits their profession i.e. seeing patient's and consoling them in a doctor's case and not focus on marketing!!!
Imagine if a Marketing person had to start seeing patients.
Phew!! That would be a sight to see!

Lakshmi Nanda said...

Well said Drdj ,the person probably got himself sick enough anyway coz he didn't get enough of that TLC and bonding in life.

Unknown said...

Great article, Dr. DJ !
The words " corporatization and efficient productivity" are so apt.

But thats how the procedure is here too since so many years ! I guess ppl will first go to a psychiatrist to get medical help then !

Deepak Alse said...

Good one DJ! I think blind corporatisation without the involvement of professionals in the corresponding area is a bane - Not just in Medicine but in any area. The notion that you can take the idea of efficiency and plonk it into any business, is not a very efficient idea! The human interaction part between Patient and Doctor can create a level of effectiveness that compensates or even supercedes what can be achieve by improving efficiency through reducing the hours of contact. It is incorrect corporatization to place 'efficiency' ahead of 'effectiveness' - It is a better idea to focus on high effectiveness first and design your processes to align with that. Once the process reaches 80%confidence level in being effective,you can always find ways to make it efficient!

Unknown said...

Hey Dheeraj,

Your article is really very good and i totally agree with you when it comes to Doctor-Patient bonding. I remember my mother-in-law had being through a major surgery, she had Cancer. Trust me Dheeraj, Our gynac not only had a good relation with her patient but also with the whole family. That gives you so much confidence that your loved one is in safe hands. The surgery was not only a success but the motivation which the doctor gave her post surgery helped her with a speedy recovery. I personally believe when you are in this noble proffesion, bonding with your patient makes a 'GREAT DIFFERENCE'

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