As a profession, we are paying attention to the details of medical errors — to ambiguous chart abbreviations, to vaccination practices and hand-washing and many other important, or at least quantifiable, matters.
But as we bustle from one well-documented chart to the next, no one is counting whether we are still paying attention to the human beings. No one is counting whether we admit that the best source of information, the best protection from medical error, the best opportunity to make a difference — that all of these things have been here all along
I fear that this trend will only further the distance between the physician and the patient. Is this what we have to look forward to as government intervention increases and the credentialing organizations such as the JCAHO focus further on mindless minutia.
Physicians need to maintain focus and remember that the patients have the problem , they have the answers…. and we need to listen to them, focus on them and prompt them with the right questions.