Thursday, April 26, 2012

Family Medicine Activist: Quality and Death

Sometimes I want to disagree with the focus of the quality initiatives in health care.  The quality outcomes concept seems to imply that eternal life is possible if someone's cholesterol is below a certain number or they have a diabetic measure in a certain range.  If your blood pressure is in a certain range, you will live forever and your Family Physician should get a bonus.

Health care in Family Medicine is a relationship-based, continuous process across the life cycle of each individual and family.  It never ends, but it always ends- eventually.  A little known fact is that all of my patients eventually die.  What does that say about quality?  What does that day about prevention?  How does that affect what we do?  How does that affect the quality bonuses we might earn?

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