The checklistization of medicine

Today at the ophthalmologists the assistant who prepped me by putting in eyedrops and checking my visual acuity, had to put some information in her computer. One of the questions was how long I’d been taking eye drops. I told her to look at the chart, since the information was already there. She asked me to guess, so I did, and she duly entered the guess, which is (probably) now in the (electronic) chart and certainly less accurate than what is already there. Such is the checklistization of medicine today. Thank God I’m retired. The ophthalmologist said it’s part of the software that insurance companies require.

My brother, who is still practicing internal medicine, now gets 20 (paper) sheets of mostly useless information for every ER visit of one of his patients. This includes
l. a sheet saying the patient did not fall off the gurney
2. attestation that the patient was treated in a culturally appropriate manner
3. attestation that the patient was given the opportunity to ask questions.
I’m not making this up, and neither is he.

He says the residents are complaining that less time is available for the patient due to all this.

I guarantee you that this malarkey was not put in at the request of physicians and nurses actually attempting to take care of people.

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